Garda pedal power in aid of ‘As Darragh Did’
EIGHTEEN members from Clondalkin Garda station are set to take on a 130km cycle in aid of the ‘As Darragh Did’ campaign.
The Gardai will be departing from Clondalkin Garda Station and heading to Athlone on Saturday, October 16 with all proceeds raised going towards the ‘As Darragh Did’ (ADD) campaign. The ADD campaign was set up by Andrew McGinley in memory of his children who tragically died on January 24, 2020.
Speaking about how the idea for the upcoming charity cycle came about, Garda Niamh Connaughton from Clondalkin Garda Station said: “I thought it was something that we could all do together. I asked people in the office if they would be interested in doing it and I think now everyone is doing it.
“I am the family liaison officer for Andrew McGinley so I am engaging with Andrew all of the time anyway, so once everyone said they would like to do it I spoke to Andrew to get his thoughts on it and it just took off from there,” Niamh explained.
“Everyone felt that the charity is very worthwhile and beneficial to any club or good cause in the whole country. When I ran it by Andrew, he was delighted that we were going to promote it and raise money for it, so he is very happy.”
With just a little over a week to go and a daunting 130km hanging over their heads, the eighteen Gardai have upped their training in order to complete the cycle.
Everyone has been doing their own training individually and we have also gone out as a group this week and it went really well,” said Niamh.
“We are all very new to it, I think. There is maybe one or two of us who are used to cycling but a lot of us haven’t been on a bike since our childhood, but it is going well and everyone is really positive about it and we are all looking forward to it.”
Speaking to The Echo, Andrew McGinley said that the idea to start the charities in honour of his children came about after he began thinking of promises he had made to them.
“The three legacy projects that I am doing to honour the children came to me the night that Conor, Darragh and Carla passed away,” Andrew explained.
“I was standing there thinking about the last time I held them and the last time I kissed them and spoke to them, and I started thinking about the last promises I had made to them that I hadn’t got around to keeping.
“You always make promises to your children and these three particular promises got into my head and it has been what has helped me put one foot in front of the other and to move forward.”
The ‘As Darragh Did’ campaign came about after Andrew made a promise to his children that he would continue to do what they loved most to remember them and honour their memory.
The charity was set up in memory of Darragh, who was involved in a number of local activities, such as Rathcoole Boys and St Marys GAA in Saggart.
“Darragh was involved in everything – he was about getting involved, so we set up a charity to encourage people to get involved, as Darragh Did.
“We can’t wait for people to apply for funds – any club or society that is looking for funds that will encourage participation and inclusion they can apply through the website.”
This year, the charity is offering the chance to win four tickets to a Daniel O’Donnell concert which will take place on June 2, 2022, at Newcastle Community Centre, including overnight accommodation in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel. For the chance to win, you can buy raffle tickets under the ‘concert raffle’ tab on the website, with all money going towards ADD.
The GoFundMe page for the charity cycle has already raised in excess of €3,350.
If you would like to donate or find out more information about the cycle you can go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/as-darragh-did or for more information on any of the charities you can go to asdarraghdid.ie.
Fundraiser by Niamh Connaughton : Cycle in aid of the As Darragh Did Campaign (gofundme.com)