Celebrity chef Derry Clarke will release ceremonial doves to start the Console East-West Cycle from Celbridge to Galway early tomorrow, Saturday, June 7.
More than 250 cyclists will set off from the Celbridge Manor Hotel at 6am for a one-day cross-country journey to highlight the fight against suicide.
The inaugural Console East-West Cycle is being held to highlight the national suicide prevention and bereavement charity’s free 1800 247 247 helpline service.
The cyclists will be stopping four times during the 200km cycle - in Kinnegad, Moate, Ballinasloe and Loughrea.
The East-West Cycle will be joined in Ballinasloe by Finbarr Walsh, father of teenager Donal Walsh who did so much to highlight suicide awareness among young people.
“Console’s East-West Cycle is about having fun as well as raising awareness of our free helpline on 1800 247 247,” said Console founder and CEO Paul Kelly.
“We will be handing out Console 1800 247247 wristbands and other information en route so that people are aware that hope and help are always available from Console.
“Many of the cyclists are new to the sport, having been encouraged by our top ultra-distance cycling champion Ricky Geoghegan to go from the Couch To Connacht in an eight-week period, thanks to his training schedule.
“We are hoping that members of the public will cheer our intrepid cyclists on at every stage as they travel along the old Dublin to Galway road.”
Energy provider Airtricity, Applegreen and Cuisine de France are among the leading Irish businesses sponsoring the Console East-West Cycle.
“All funds raised from this cycle will go to ensuring that Console’s services are free and readily accessible, so people in need can get help when they need it most,” said Paul Kelly.
Nationwide professional suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide (Freephone 1800 247 247).
The charity has full-time counselling centres in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Wexford, Limerick, Kerry and Mayo. It also offers services in Kildare and Athlone and has recently opened a service in London.
Counselling, advice and general support is available for any individual, couples, groups, families or children who have been affected by suicide.
Console can be reached at any time on freephone 1800 247 247 and many resources and useful information can be found at www.console.ie.