A group of Cork friends are taking on the challenge of the Ring of Kerry this weekend to raise funds to help get vaccines to the most remote and isolated developing countries.
The 10 friends have raised over €2,750 for UNICEF’s Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine initiative ahead of taking on the 170km Ring of Kerry Cycle, one of the toughest cycling routes in the country.
Speaking to The Echo, organiser of the dedicated GoFundMe page, Paul Kiernan said that while they do not have cycling experience, they intend to complete the challenging route in about 10 hours, starting from Derrynane in South-West Kerry on Saturday, July 24.
He said that while many people are fortunate enough to receive a vaccine over the coming months, many throughout the world will not be afforded that opportunity and hopes that their efforts will make a small positive difference by funding vaccines for those most vulnerable across the world.
“We’re all friends from Cork, all the same friend group and played rugby together in UCC RFC.
We planned on doing the cycle because we’re down in Kerry that week so we decided to do the Ring of Kerry and said it would be great to do it for a charity.
“We sat down and thought about what would be the best charity to go for at this time and considering that we’re all in our late 20s and getting vaccinated at the moment and the fact it’s so topical in the news, that it would be great to do the cycle to fund vaccines in developing countries.
“We saw that UNICEF was doing this campaign online and it just looked like a great campaign. They’re funding millions of vaccines across developing countries that can’t get access to the vaccines and we thought it would be great to get behind it, even if it makes a small difference,” he said.
The friend group hope that the funds will help get vaccines delivered to the most remote and isolated places in the world, ensure vaccines are stored safely using secure cold chain equipment, that health workers are vaccinated and protected against Covid-19, and that vulnerable families and children receive the life-saving care they need to survive.
It’s important that everyone has access to a vaccine. We are so fortunate here, if we have to wait three months it’s really nothing in the scheme of things when there are people who don’t have access to vaccines at all.
The 10 friends taking part in the cycle are Charlie O’Regan, Paul Kiernan, James Kiernan, Paul Derham, David Fitzgerald, Ben Burns, Will Foley, Phil O’Leary, Hugh O’Halloran, and Rory Daly.
Those who wish to donate can click here.