It started with a Facebook post. Richard Lewis, the owner of the Carlingford bike hire company On Yer Bike, saw a Facebook post asking if anyone could loan bikes to Ukrainian families who had moved here so that they could explore the the wonderful scenery in the area.
Richard made contact with the lady who had posted the message and offered to make bikes available for any Ukrainians who wanted to wanted to cycle along the Carlingford to Omeath Greenway.
‘"I said I’d lend them some bikes for free and then it just morphed into me saying I would repair bikes,” he explains.
He began repairing a few bikes that had been donated for the Ukrainian community and reckons that by the end of the month, he will have restored 30 bikes.
"I’ve got bikes from people in Carlingford, Cooley and Dundalk,” he says.
He has also received bikes that have been left in for collection with the V & W Recycling Centre on the Newry Road.
"I’m repairing adults, 16” wheelers and children's bikes.”
As this is the busy season for his bike hire company, he prefers to work on bikes which don’t need extensive repairs.
“I’m really looking for bikes that people no longer want but that are in pretty good condition, so that they just need a service and some minor repairs.”
Once he has repaired the bikes, he gives them to the lady who then distributes them to members the Ukrainian community who are living locally, having fled the war.
The bikes provide them with the opportunity to explore their new home as well as giving them their own means of transport.
Anyone who has a bike that they no longer need can donate them through the Supporting Ukrainians in Co. Louth Ireland page on Facebook.