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21/09/2021

Derry man completes Mizen to Malin Head cycle in just two days

John O'Brien's efforts raise thousands of pounds for two charities

Derry man completes Mizen to Malin Head cycle in just two days

The three men pictured at Malin Head after finishing their cycle from Mizen Head.

A Derry man has completed a gruelling two-day cycle from the bottom of Ireland to the top.

John O'Brien completed the Mizen Head to Malin Head trip over the weekend of July 17/18 to raise money for two charities.

The charities to benefit from the fundraising cycle are Action Duchenne, which raises money to support efforts to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and Join Our Boys, a Roscommon-based charity which was set up in 2014 to support a local couple whose three sons all have Duchenne.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a life-limiting condition which mainly affects boys and for which there is currently no cure.

The Mizen to Malin cycle raised a total of £4,700 and 1,310 Euro for the charities.

John, who is originally from County Laois but has lived in Derry for 20 years, was joined on the all-Ireland cycle by Adrian Martin from County Offaly and Tipperary man Seamus Duggan.

They set off from Mizen Head at 7am on Saturday, July 17, and arrived at Malin Head on Sunday evening.

The journey got off to a difficult after one of the cyclists suffered a puncture after just 30 minutes.

Despite this setback, the trio managed to complete their cycle on schedule.

They passed through Derry on the last stage of their journey.

John, who is 52, said he was delighted to complete the cycle and raise so much money for the charities.

“It was much hotter than it would usually be at this time of the year so that was tough but we were happy with how things went,” he said.

“I was amazed by people's generosity and want to thank everyone who helped us, whether it was part of our support team or simply people who made a donation.

“We wanted to raise as much money as possible for the two charities and to raise awareness about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy because so many people know nothing about the condition.”

Derry teenager Niall O'Doherty, who is 14 years-old, has Duchenne and his family have raised thousands of pounds to support the work of Action Duchenne.

Niall's mother, Deborah, said they were touched that the support they have received.

“We are so appreciative of people like John who go out of their way to support us and other families affected by this condition.

“As well as raising money for Action Duchenne, it will also help raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

“It is a condition which affects a lot of families throughout Ireland but most people know very little about it and we just want to thank John and his friends for raising so much money for the fight against Duchenne.”

You can still donate to support John's efforts here - https://bit.ly/3qMidDi

John is not the only local man taking on a massive challenge this year to raise money for Action Duchenne.

Local doctor Gavin McAteer is planning to run from Mizen Head to Malin Head over six days in September.

Dr McAteer, who is a GP at Quayside Medical Centre, is aiming to run 10 hours a day covering between 60 and 70 miles each day.

The money raised by the 43-year-old will be donated to two charities – Action Duchenne and Top of the Hill Youth and Community Group.

Dr McAteer's son has played football with Top of the Hill for the past eight years.

The local doctor will set off from Mizen Head on September 6.

The plan is for the epic run to finish at Malin Head on Saturday, September 11.

Anyone who would like to support the fundraising events can contact Deborah O'Doherty for more details on 07927400670.

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