Two West Cork friends recently undertook a cycle of the entire coastline of Ireland, raising money for West Cork Rapid Response and Pieta House.
Sean Gordon from Rosscarbery and his friend Joe McCarthy from Drimoleague were met with a heroes welcome when they returned to Rosscarbery recently after a gruelling 28-day journey.
Their ‘Doing the Loop’ fundraiser raised more than €9,000 for West Cork Rapid Response and Pieta House.
The cycle was inspired by the Covid-19 induced lockdown and was seen as a way that Joe and Sean could support the charities that had both experienced increased demand for their services during the pandemic.
The two lads were far from keen cyclists with Sean borrowing his dad's bike and Joe buying his first bike since he was 11-years-old.
The two friends experienced several trials throughout the expedition with four punctures, two storms and chain issues just some of the obstacles faced.
One kind soul even offered to drive the two lads 40km to the Giant's Causeway at the height of Storm Francis but was politely refused.
Speaking on behalf of West Cork Rapid Response, Kate Crowley praised Joe and Sean for their brave cycle.
"West Cork Rapid Response are thrilled to share the proceeds of Joe and Sean's ‘Doing The Loop’ cycle around Ireland's coastline with Pieta,” she said.
“It was an inspiringly brave decision to organise the cycle to beat the Covid blues and put the charities on the map too.
“This fundraiser had it all, from being informative and imaginative to being fun and successful. It was win/win for the lads and the charities,” she added.
“It captured the hearts of West Cork people, which is reflected in the generous donations.
“West Cork Rapid Response need this money to fund Dr Jason's emergency response jeep and we are so grateful to Joe and Sean for their powerful portrayal of giving back to their communities.
“They are a credit to their families and we are privileged to have them in West Cork.”
After 28 days on the road, Joe and Sean arrived back in Rosscarbery on Sunday to a socially-distanced heroes welcome.
Family, friends and local people who had followed their progress lined up on the road to clap and cheer Joe and Sean as they were escorted through the town by Dr Jason of West Cork Rapid Response in his jeep.