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Cyclists to get in gear for memory of Tom

TOM MULLIGAN was one of those footballers that could light a million candles.

He had that dash of adventure, the parcel of craft. Powerfully built but with the feet of a dancer.

He was an entertainer. He played with a swagger. He knew the game had to be enjoyed, and that life shouldn't be all about the black and white pages of the dusty ledger.

Watching Tom, even for an hour, helped people put all their troubles in the old kit bag. He made the size five smile.

In August, the memory of Tom's persuasive ways with a football will fill in the miles from the Galtymore Road to the Cooley Peninsula.

It's the fifth year of the Tom Mulligan Cycle. Eamonn Fennell and Paul Flynn launched it.

Last year, 70 cyclists took part. ¤53,000 was raised for Pieta House.

It will take place over two days. It begins on Saturday, August 11 from Good Counsel (9am).

Tom's father, Thomas, is appealing to the Dublin GAA community and beyond to once again get on their bikes.

"The solidarity shown by Tom's friends and football colleagues every year reminds us that suicide is something which effects every town and village in Ireland," states Thomas. "The cycle allows us to raise more awareness about Pieta House and the wonderful work they do. It helps spread the word around the country that help is available."

Joan Freeman is the CEO of Pieta House.

"Times are very tough for people. Last year we had an 81 per cent increase of people seeking support," she reveals.

"We are so dependant on the generosity of people to keep our doors open. The Tomás Mulligan Cycle will contribute hugely to the services we provide."

The Pieta people are all heroes, but Joan salutes the initiative of Thomas: "The Mulligan family are an inspiration to us all."

All are welcome to join the cycle. There will be fun along the route, and, no doubt, a couple of bars of Yorkie and Molly Malone. Sign up on www.tmcycle.ie or visit www.pieta.ie.