Morgan McKinley set out mid 2016 to raise €1,000,000 for a variety of charities over a three year period through monetary contributions and volunteering.
This year each member of the Board pledged a personal goal. Hence Pat Fitzgerald, Group CEO, suggested a cycle to and from all our offices across Ireland.
The challenge was to cycle 410 km over three days from Dublin to Waterford, onto Limerick and cross the finishing line in Cork. And so the journey began; we selected the route, organised the logistics, sought volunteers (both cyclists and support), and set an extremely ambitious target of raising €50,000 for two incredible charities: Marymount Hospice who provide elderly care, and BUMBLEance who created the world's first interactive ambulance service specifically designed for children.
That’s when the magic started. To say it was embraced was an understatement; whether someone was organising hotels, vans or training, the buzz was phenomenal!
On Wednesday 20th September we set off from Dublin. Eight cyclists committed to all three days and the number swelled each day with individual day appearances from teams in the local offices. I can honestly say it was a trip into the unknown. Everyone was fuelled to the hilt, electrolytes were being shared and devoured, there wasn’t an egg left in Dublin as we fuelled on protein and readied ourselves for the task!
Day 1: Dublin to Waterford - 160km
The weather was poor but the craic was mighty and it brought the team together as we became comfortable and efficient with each passing km. From Garda escorts to ‘rolling’ and spills in Waterford City - it was a great start and we were buzzing.
Day 2: Waterford to Limerick - 130 km
Day 2 was another great day as we travelled through the midlands away from the Deise and across the rolling hills of the Golden Vale countryside. My abiding memory was the High Nelly coffee shop outside Limerick where we checked out the high nellies, fuelled up with ice cream amidst great banter followed by the call “Rolling” and laughter of excitement.
Day 3: Limerick to Cork - 110km
This was a truly special day. It started off with John Bishop asking to take a photo with Pat and the team! While John was unavailable to partake in the cycle, we were joined by twenty colleagues from our Cork office and this certainly created a buzz as we set off on the final day. A Garda escort out of Limerick city with sirens blaring, breaking red lights and cycling on the wrong side of the road all added to the excitement.
Gathering safely in Cork, the sheer sense of achievement, everyone hugging and the comradery brought a tear to Pat’s eye… a truly memorable moment. Goal accomplished! 410 km over 3 days and everyone home safely. You can view all photo's in our album here.
The aim was to raise much needed funds and support for two worthy charities and we not only met but exceeded our target raising almost €53,000.
In doing so, we created a bond, a buzz, a purpose that everyone across our Irish offices was able to contribute to. Thanks to everyone involved: organisers, supporters, partakers and to everyone who sponsored and donated.
Special thanks to Tony Devane, mechanic / van driver / general good guy. A huge thank you to all our colleagues for making this a very special undertaking, and of course, thanks to all the cyclists – it was an absolute pleasure!
Bryan Hyland | Operations Director