Irony of Michael O'Leary's charity order

O' Leary has apparently been ordered by a court to pay €250 to Cycle Against Suicide in response to a recent speeding offence though, as I understand it, he was not actually driving.

Nonetheless, I cannot help but appreciate the poetic justice of having the king of the clouds become a silver lining to this wonderful venture – a venture that is less about a cycle but more about raising awareness of the message that it is okay not to feel okay and that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but an act of empowerment. However, for that message to become widespread, the news of the cycle must too and hats off to the Ryanair boss for broadening that very horizon.

This recent turn of events must make Cycle Against Suicide one of the first if not only fringe benefit associated with Michael O'Leary in recent times – two phenomena that routinely refuse to walk hand in hand.

However, we are not talking about a walk here but a cycle and it is a cycle that is gaining momentum as the days and weeks pass. Route detours, permits, permissions, promotion are all part of the charity's daily package now which, come to think about it, is not at all unlike Mr. O'Leary's day job. In fact should Michael decide to join the cycle on April 22, I imagine he would feel right at home.

Not just that, he would make an ideal participant and a welcome one. He would have valuable insight into the route structure, he would adhere strictly to arrival times and it would be familiar music to his ears to hear that thunderous applause on reaching the various stopovers and ultimate destination.

Of course, like Ryanair, it wouldn't be all plain sailing. There might be a few bumps, a few groans and the niceties of life might be sparse and intermittent as the real challenge of the event kicks in. But it is for a cause and for the many things that are said about the man, he is never without a cause.

So Michael, would you consider donning the raingear and hopping on a bike to join in on Cycle against Suicide on April 22? As the master at turning a misfortune into a fortune, here is an ideal opportunity, if not for you, then for a charity deserving of all the support it can muster. And if you are still on speaking terms with your pilots and stewards, do feel free to bring them along. Who knows, by the time this goes to print, you might even have the crew at Aer Lingus on board.

But to conclude Mr. O'Leary, as a man who has no time for extras, it is a wonderful thing you have done, to add that bit extra to a worthy pot. As well you know, Sir, every bit helps.

Cycle for Suicide is the brainchild of 'Secret Millionaire' Jim Breen. More details at


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