Two courageous teachers and a staff member at a popular Dungannon primary school are cycling the length of Ireland in a bid to fight education cuts that have threatened staff redundancies.
On Thursday, Seamus McCreesh, dynamic Principal of St Mary’s, Cabragh, will be embarking on a 400 mile journey from Mizen Head in County Cork, to Malin Head in County Donegal, in an attempt to raise vital funds for the school and keep his highly trained and valuable staff.
He’ll be joined by colleagues, Damien Hamill and Brian McKenna, and parents Ciaran McElvogue, Ciaran Nugent and Kevin Hughes. The cycling pack are aiming to complete this journey over a gruelling 4 days.
On the final day, Sunday, they will be joined by parents and members of the cycling community to help them reach the finish line.
This will be the second time Seamus is undertaking the marathon trek from Malin Head to Mizen Head to raise school funds.
In 2015, he completed the four day cycle to help pay for a new playground at Eglish school Roan St Patrick’s. Inspired by the huge success of the first cycle, and installed last September as Principal of St Mary’s Cabra, Mr McCreesh is having another crack at the 400 mile challenge, and this time he’s looking for support from Killeeshil parents.
“A team of school staff members and parents will be doing the challenge to raise vital funds for the school”, he said. “It’s great that we have one school in the parish so everyone can get behind it and we’re not vying for resources. We have a strong team of cyclists with school staff and three parents, and we’re inviting anyone from the parish to join us on the last day of cycling to Malin Head.”
Schools throughout Northern Ireland have been hit with a series of cuts to their budgets, and warned by the education authority not to go into the red.
School principals have described the cuts as “completely savage” and others warned that teachers would lose their jobs.