Malin Head to Mizen Head for Susan O'Neill/Antoinette Pender

A fundraising cycle from Malin Head to Mizen Head will take place during the first week of June in memory of two women who spent many years cycling and fundraising before passing to their eternal reward during the second half of 2021.

On July 20th, 2021, Susan O’Neill, from Ballyea, died from cancer. On November 11th, 2021, Antoinette Pender from Quilty also died having contracted cancer. Both women had fought bravely before finally succumbing. The fundraising event is titled ‘South for Susan and Antoinette’.

A limited number of cyclists will undertake the journey from Malin Head to Mizen Head between June 6th and June 10th. Overnight rest points are scheduled for Donegal Town, Claremorris, Ballyea and Blarney. Susan’s husband Michael O’Neill and Antoinette’s husband Jamsie have commenced training in preparation for the once-off event. Both men are experienced cyclists and the long miles are not likely to be too daunting. Other cyclists who have volunteered for the trip are Marie, Claire and Sheila Hough (Coolmeen), Shane O’Neill from Ballyea (Susan’s son), Noel Keane (Kilmaley), Liam Duggan (Doora/Barefield), Michael Clancy (Lissycasey), Jason Ryan (Kilrush), Stevie Malone (Kilnaboy) and Martin O’Donoghue (Corofin).

A support team will travel with the cycle, taking care of repairs, transport of luggage and other logistics. The support team will be comprised of Noel Howard (Ennis), Tom Haugh (Coolmeen) as well as Mike and Bernie Cusack from Doora. Susan’s daughters Michelle and Tara will cover social media input and Ballyea based support.

The selected charities are Sláinte an Chláir and Cancer Care West. Sláinte an Chláir is based in Kilnamona and has provided support to cancer patients for many years. Cancer Care West is Galway based and has supported cancer patients along the western seaboard to access care as well as helping support new therapy development, research and education in cancer and leukemia care. Each cyclist and member of the road support team will cover the cost of  their accommodation, meals and other expenses, thereby ensuring that all funds collected will be divided between the two charities. A permit to facilitate the fundraising has been granted by the Garda Síochána. A bank account has been set up, at AIB in Ennis, to receive all monies from people who wish to support the ‘South for Susan and Antoinette’ fundraising drive. The account IBAN details are – IE71 AIBK 9353 8757 1231 83 and the BIC is AIBKIE2D . Online donations can be made on the GoFundMe platform (www.gofundme.com) search for ‘South for Susan & Antoinette’. The cyclists and support team members would welcome and appreciate any contact. If anybody wishes to find out more about the event or has a query, Michelle O’Looney can be reached on (087) 9979383, Tara Lynch at (087) 2105526 or Mike Cusack on (087) 6998788.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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