After 400kms Terry Fahey leads the 2018 Galway Cycle home in Maynooth on Sunday evening.
The 31st annual Galway Cycle, run by Maynooth students has raised €83,000 over the weekend which will help fund a bereavement suite in the Coombe Hospital.
And it is expected that the figure will rise over the coming weeks and months.
It was the 31st consecutive Galway Cycle, an event that has raised in excess of €1.6 million over that time for numerous different charities.
The event began last Friday morning at the college in Maynooth and involved some 123 cyclists taking to the road just after daybreak, bound for Galway. They arrived into Eyre Square just before 6pm on Friday evening.
And after spending Saturday rattling buckets on the streets of the city on Saturday, they once again mounted their bikes and cycled the 200km back to Maynooth where they arrived to considerable fanfare on Sunday evening.
Cyclists greet the dawn in Oranmore, Galway on Sunday morning at the start of the return leg.
The bereavement suite at the Coombe is intended to provide for the parents and families of babies who do not survive, whether they are stillborn or die soon after birth. The project is intended to renovate three en-suite rooms to create a family-friendly home away from home that will afford bereaved parents both comfort and dignity. Each room will be designed in a way that enables essential medical equipment to be discreetly concealed, resulting in a much softer, more homely feel.
The Maynooth students were inspired to take part by the experience of local couple Terry and Sarah Fahey, whose son Tom was born there in 2015. At the 20 week scan, the couple were told that Tom had Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards Syndrome. It’s a condition that affects only one in 6,000 and essentially means that the baby will either not survive childbirth or not survive much beyond it.
Maynooth cyclists (in pink) created a carnival atmosphere in Galway on Saturday - seen here serenading a pair of newly weds.
It was Sarah and Terry’s experience of their son’s birth and subsequent passing after 11 days which inspired them to raise funds for the bereavement suite. “This is where your memories are made in a very short space of time,” says Sarah.
The suite is set to cost €120,000 of which the €83,000 raised so far is a significant dent.
Click here for more details or to donate.
As well as over 100 cyclists, there were more than 30 support crew, including Kilcock man Jack Hearns.