A ‘Tour De Connacht’ 300km cycle through the five counties of Connacht will take place over the August bank holiday weekend (4th and 5th August) to raise awareness about suicide in the west and to raise funds for the establishment of a Pieta House centre in the region.
Tour De Connacht is being organised by West Aware, a community group highlighting the problem of suicide in the west. West Aware came about when a group of friends and colleagues from Galway and Mayo decided they wanted to do something to raise awareness of the need for a suicide crisis centre in the west following the loss of a close friend.
“We’re hoping that the cycle will raise awareness of the need for a Pieta House in Connacht,” said Declan Davin, Chair of West Aware. “Anecdotal evidence suggests a large increase in the number of people taking their own lives in Mayo and surrounding areas over the past few years. We want to work together as a community to help save lives. One way we can do this is by getting a Pieta House crisis centre located in the west. This will provide a place where people can go when suicide becomes a plan rather than just an idea,” he said.
The Tour De Connacht will span five counties over two days, starting in Kilconly, County Galway, and finishing in Enniscrone, County Sligo. West Aware are encouraging people of all fitness levels to take part in the cycle. As well as the 300km route aimed at advanced/pro cyclists, there is also a shorter 210km route tailored to novice cyclists.
“We’re putting the call out to anyone who has been affected by suicide or who wants to take action on this issue to get on their bike and support the efforts to get a Pieta House located in the west,” said DP Morrin, PRO of West Aware. “We’re hoping to get 200 people on the road through the towns of Connacht over the August bank holiday weekend. You don’t have to be a pro cyclist; it’s all about taking part and fundraising for a superb charity. A service such as Pieta House could potentially save many lives and it’s really badly needed in the west,” he said.
The weekend of cycling will be brought to an end with a party in the Ard Rí House Hotel, Tuam, on the night of Sunday, 5th of August, with music from The Wondertones and DJ Vinny. Tickets for the afterparty cost €10 and are available from Quinn’s Shop in Tuam, Byrne’s Gala Shop in Kilconly, or from any member of the organising committee.
About Pieta House
Pieta House, the suicide and self-harm crisis centre, officially opened its doors in Lucan, Co. Dublin in January 2006. The unique clinically based model developed by Pieta House is used across the five centres in Dublin and Limerick. There are also active discussions in progress to open centres in Galway, Cork, Waterford and Roscrea.
Pieta House provides a professional, face to face, free of charge therapeutic service for people in the acute stages of distress. Its primary aim is to reduce suicide by helping people get through that critical phase when suicide becomes a plan rather than just an idea.
Since 2006, Pieta House has grown to almost 80 therapists and staff. Demand for their services is constantly on the rise. To date over 6,000 people have been seen and helped by Pieta House.
Pieta House’s vision is that no-one in Ireland should be more than 100 kilometres from a Pieta House centre where they can avail of the clinical services at that time of crisis.
For more information log on to www.pieta.ie