A CORK couple in their 70s are undertaking to cycle more than 1,000 kilometres around Ireland to raise funds for Irish humanitarian aid organisation, GOAL, and its Ukraine support programme.
Eddie (74) and Annie (73) Quinn from Kildorerry, both retired teachers, were moved to take action after seeing the scenes of devastation in Ukraine.
“As with so many people lately, the conflict in Ukraine caught our attention and we felt we had to do something,” Eddie said.
“There are lots of great causes in need of support, but I think the images coming out of Ukraine made it impossible for us to ignore. Images of devastation, and the dreadful situation that people are in, were in front of our eyes every night — we couldn’t avoid it.
“We’ve completed a number of long-distance cycles in Europe. We were thinking of our next trip this summer and decided to make it a fundraising drive for Ukraine.”
The conflict in Ukraine has resulted in the displacement of more than 12 million people since late February. As part of its humanitarian response, GOAL delivered first aid kits, food kits and other essentials to those affected.
Currently the only Irish aid agency registered to operate in Ukraine, with an operational base in Lviv, GOAL will provide cash and voucher assistance, legal advice and psychosocial support to internally displaced people in the eastern part of the country and will quickly expand its programme to Western Ukraine.
“We thought the fact that we’re a good age might lead people to support more,” Eddie said.
“It might also help people of any age to realise that they can do something like that themselves. We feel that a story like this has the chance to touch people’s hearts — this old couple willing to do this to try and help people in need.”
The couple are finalising their planned route and are anticipating conditions they may encounter on the trip.
“We have planned our start from where we live here in Kildorerry,” he said.
“We’ll be heading towards Limerick, and then Clare, Galway, Mayo, Donegal, Derry, Limavady, Belfast, and down the east coast of Ireland to Waterford and back to our home in Cork.
“We’ll be doing maybe 50km per day for four weeks and expect to cycle well over 1,000 kilometres come rain, wind or shine.
“We always look for the safest road that we can, but that isn’t always possible. There will be roads with fast traffic, rough or hilly terrain, trucks, tractors, cows and what have you. One way or another, we’ll raise some money for this great cause. In the end that is what it’s all about — to help people in Ukraine whose homes are being destroyed.”
To support Eddie and Annie Quinn’s fundraising cycle around Ireland, visit goal-ukraine-appeal.raisely.com/eddieanniequinn.