Video: Warm welcome awaits in Cookstown for Cycle Against Suicide

  • Cyclists will arrive into Cookstown on Tuesday, April 26
  • The now annual event, has seen over 10,000 cyclists take to the roads
  • Over 800 people die by suicide on the island of Ireland each year

Householders in Dungannon and Cookstown and the wider Mid Ulster area will throw open their doors to welcome riders in the Cycle Against Suicide next week.

The 350 strong group of cyclists will arrive into Cookstown on Tuesday, April 26 after completing an 86 kilometre cycle from Monaghan via Portadown.

They will stay overnight in the Mid Ulster area and then leave early the next morning on the fourth day of the cycle heading to Omagh and Stranorlar that evening.

The 14-day cycle which will have started in Dublin on the Sunday, will travel all across the island of Ireland promoting the message that ‘it’s ok not to feel ok; and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help’.

The one mile long peloton will be arriving into Cookstown on Tuesday at 6pm travelling up Church Road to Cookstown High School.

It will leave the school grounds the next morning at around 9am heading on to Omagh and finally Stranorlar. An appeal is being made to the local community to come out and support the cyclists and welcome them into the town.

Jim Breen, Pauline OKane Teresa McKenna from Cycle Against Suicide with Peter Canavan, last Tuesday at Holy Trinity Secondary school

Jim Breen, Pauline OKane Teresa McKenna from Cycle Against Suicide with Peter Canavan, last Tuesday at Holy Trinity Secondary school

Jim Breen, the inspiration behind the initiative told students at Holy Trinity Secondary School of the scale and impact of suicide across Ireland.

He said: “Over 800 people die by suicide on the island of Ireland each year.

“That is 800 families and communities devastated; 800 lives cut short.

“Cycle Against Suicide aims to change this by beginning a conversation about mental health and getting the message that ‘it’s ok not to feel ok; and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help’ into schools, businesses and communities throughout the island of Ireland”.

Each year Cycle Against Suicide brings together cyclists with different abilities, different stories, different “whys,” to help break the cycle of suicide on the island of Ireland.

The now annual event, has seen over 10,000 cyclists take to the roads, shoulder to shoulder since 2013.

Dungannon man Brian MacAuley who has been busy helping to organise and promote the cycle’s arrival in Mid Ulster, urged people to come out and show their support.

“It is a very important message that this cycle is sending out, which I think is really helping to tackle the serious issue of suicide,” he said.

“Mid Ulster, like many other parts of Ireland, has been badly affected by suicide in recent years and it is great to see people like Jim speaking out so frankly and openly about the importance of mental health and letting people know that it ok to talk about your problems.”