Friday 22 March 2019

Martin joins Enda in wheelchair fundraiser

Martin Doyle, Enda Kenny and Ger Doyle at the cycle in Cork
Martin Doyle, Enda Kenny and Ger Doyle at the cycle in Cork

Ballywilliam man Martin Doyle has raised more than €11,000 for the Irish Wheelchair Association over the past 11 years by cycling from Carlow to Cork.

Joined by his younger brother Ger this year, Martin set off in June on his biggest cycling challenge yet - a three leg cycle: 200km from Carlow to Blarney, 100km from Blarney to Clonmel and 100km from Clonmel to Carlow.

The cycle raises tens of thousands of euros to adapt vans for wheelchair using children each year.

Martin started doing the cycle after his wife Loretta - who hails from Carlow - got involved. He took a week off work and cycled 600km during the week in advance of the Cork cycle in preparation.

'Before we would get a bus to Blarney and cycle back the 200km. I get on great with the organiser Jack Doyle. This year we met Enda Kenny who told us he is an avid cyclist. He cycled from Blarney to Clonmel. We could see him for the first 20 minutes but then we were gone. We cycled that leg in three hours,' Martin, 56, said.

Together the two Ballywilliam men raised €1,500 this year for the charity. 'Over the years I raised between €900 and €1,500 through collections. One year we did a spinathon which raised €1,050. We've received great support locally.'

One of the characters on the annual cycle and known for providing cyclists with a big bucket of strawberries for sustenance. Martin has no plans to confine his bike to the garden shed. 'I'll keep going until I'm in the grave.'

New Ross Standard