Michael To Cycle The Ring For Enable Ireland And As A Tribute To Friend

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Sean Scally of Enable Ireland Kerry Services with Michael Healy who is participating in the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle in aid of the services. Photo by Dermot Crean

THERE are thousands of stories behind why people get on their bikes in July and take part in the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.

Michael Healy’s is just one. The 63 year old from Tralee, who works in Dan Healy’s Butchers at St Brendan’s Park, will take part in his fourth cycle this year but it took him a long time to saddle up.

A good friend of Michael’s, Paul, who worked in the post office, used to do the cycle with friends but he passed away some years ago.

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Paul’s wife Marian gave his bike to Michael and said he would do the Ring of Kerry Cycle in Paul’s memory. However, despite his best intentions, he didn’t get around to doing it for years.

“People were coming into the shop telling me how they did the cycle and how much they enjoyed it and I was saying for years that ‘I’ll do it next year’. That went on for eight years,” said Michael. However, it was a visit to his wife’s workplace that changed everything.

Catherine Healy began working in Enable Ireland Children’s Services in Oakview Village in Tralee and in 2015 they were named as one of the beneficiaries of the cycle.

After visiting the centre one day during that year, Michael saw the amazing work done for children and, at the age of 60, he said he would get on his bike for the charity.

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“Luckily our grandchildren are very healthy, but when you see children with struggling with disabilities, you see how lucky you are to have healthy children and grandchildren,” said Catherine.

“I had to get a different bike for the cycle though,” said Michael. “But I still use Paul’s bike when I’m out with my grandchildren and we go for a cycle to the Wetlands.”

Michael hasn’t looked back and he loves cycling now, training regularly with a group of friends. He’s looking forward to honouring his friend’s memory this year and raising funds for a great organisation.

Sean Scally of Enable Ireland Kerry Services thanked Michael for his efforts and hopes other cyclists will choose to fundraise for the service when registering.

Registration for the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle opens on Saturday morning at 8am on their website www.ringofkerrycycle.ie. There are 14 charities and organisations benefitting this year.

It costs €100 (plus €3.50 booking fee) to enter for the cycle. You can then choose to raise further funds for the charity of your choice.

• So that’s Michael’s story. Is there a story behind the reason you or a friend is doing the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle? Let us know by emailing dcrean@traleetoday.ie 

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