By Tommy Campbell
When it comes to cycling, Mayo Wheelers Cycling Club has no demarcation lines. Next weekend, September 9 and 10, club riders are off to Belfast on a two-day fund raiser for the Irish Association of Suicideology.
Mayo Wheelers has hosted four Irish Championships this year and ran several other cycling events including stage finishes of the FBD Ras and the M. Donnelly Junior Tour. As the competitive season enters its final weeks the club is engaging in fund raising for a cause that gets no government funding.
A year ago club members got together and decided that they should do more for charity. A number of options were put forward, but club secretary Joe McGuire made a case for IAS and last year they raised over 13,000 euros and club members are intent on beating that figure.
The fundraiser entails a two day cycle to Belfast. On Saturday the riders head to Enniskillen where they will stay overnight and finish off the cycle in Belfast on Sunday.
The benefit of their fund raising will cover the 32 counties. "The amount of suicides in this island of ours is on a par with the number of deaths on our roads," said John Ferguson, a spokesman for the association. "We know full well the amount of publicity that road deaths get and rightly so! For it is chilling, but the problems of suicide which are on par with the victims of road carnage are very rarely recognised," said Ferguson.