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Shopping Centre manager heads off on charity drive to Spain

Pictured were three shopping centre managers - Brian McCracken, Letterkenny Shopping Centre, Páraic Naughton from Galway Shopping Centre and Kevin Doyle from Laois Shopping Centre - alongside John McCormack, CEO of the Irish Cancer Society and Mark Mellett, Head of Fundraising.

Pictured were three shopping centre managers – Brian McCracken, Letterkenny Shopping Centre, Páraic Naughton from Galway Shopping Centre and Kevin Doyle from Laois Shopping Centre – alongside John McCormack, CEO of the Irish Cancer Society and Mark Mellett, Head of Fundraising.

THREE shopping centre managers from Donegal, Galway and Laois set out on an innovative charity fundraiser in aid of Relay For Life Donegal and the Irish Cancer Society this week.

Brian McCracken, Letterkenny Shopping Centre, Páraic Naughton from Galway Shopping Centre and Kevin Doyle from Laois Shopping Centre left Donegal on Tuesday morning to undertake a non-stop charity drive to Spain in a Kia Sorento sponsored by Inishowen Motors.

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The trio departed from Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head at 8.30am on Tuesday morning and are expected to reach Spain’s most southerly point, Tarifa at approximately 9pm on Wednesday, May 6. The non-stop drive is expected to take 37 hours and the shopping centre managers will take it in turns to drive the 151 Kia Sorento throughout the journey.

CEO of Irish Cancer Society, John McCormack and Mark Mellett, Head of Fund-raising at the Irish Cancer Society, met the three men at Irish Cancer Society offices in Dublin to wish them well on their charity challenge, before they boarded the ferry to Holyhead. John McCormack,

CEO of the Irish Cancer Society said: “As an independent charity, the Irish Cancer Society relies on initiatives such as this to continue to fund our work. We are the largest voluntary funder of cancer research in Ireland and we provide free services to cancer patients and their families in Donegal and across the country. I would like to thank Brian, Páraic and Kevin for taking on this big challenge and in turn for supporting Relay For Life Donegal and the Irish Cancer Society. It is a fantastic achievement and we wish them the very best of luck with the remainder of their journey.”

After the two hour sailing from Dublin, Brian, Páraic and Kevin will make the journey to Dover, Kent where they will board another ferry to Calais, France. They’ll continue to drive across France and into Spain for the final stage of the 1,932 mile trek to Tarifa.

The fundraiser is the brainchild of Brian McCracken, manager of Letterkenny Shopping Centre, who said, “This is the third year that myself, Páraic and Kevin have come together to raise money for charities and we’re delighted to be getting behind the Irish Cancer Society this year. We launched the charity challenge a few weeks ago with the Relay For Life Donegal team and we had a great response. The sponsorship from Inishowen Motors, Top Oil, Atlantic Travel and P&O and Irish Ferries has been a real boost to the cause and we’d like to thank them for their support. We know how hard it is for charities out there, so we’re just trying to raise some awareness and funds to help support the great work of the Irish Cancer Society and Relay for Life Donegal

Seamus McLaughlin, Inishowen Motors, said: “We’re delighted to support the efforts of Brian and his colleagues. When they came to us earlier this year and told us that they were trying to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society, we were only too happy to offer one of our Kia Sorento’s for the journey. The new Kia Sorento is the perfect vehicle to make this trip and the whole team at Inishowen Motors wishes Brian and the boys all the best. We look forward to following their adventure over the next few days.”

This is the third year that the trio have come together to raise money for charities and they have raised over €20,000 to date. Since 2013, the men have climbed Mt. Killimanjaro, pushed a trolley from Letterkenny to Laois, via Galway, cycled a trandem (three man bike) from Malin to Mizen as well as trekking 115km of the Sahara Desert. For the journey to Tarifa, the Kia Sorento has been fitted with a tracker so members of the public can keep an eye on the trio’s progress by checking out the following link: http://threemendrive.wix.com/threemenina

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The Irish Cancer Society is the national cancer charity providing free services to cancer patients and their families as well as funding collaborative cancer research. Relay For Life takes place on the 30th and 31st of May 2015 in Letterkenny Institute of Technology. Visit www.cancer.ie/relayforlife to find out more. You can also support Relay For Life Donegal by texting ‘Relay’ to 50300 to donate €4. (100% of text cost goes to the Irish Cancer Society across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means that a minimum of €3.26 will go to the Irish Cancer Society)

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