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Terrific trek across Donegal raises more than €50,000

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Thomas Given (left) and Joe Coyle reveal the amount raised with the help of their biggest supporters.

A STAGGERING €53,000 has been raised by two Donegal men who undertook a mammoth three-day challenge last month in aid of the Pieta House North West project.

Downings native Joe Coyle (56), a financial broker who now calls Mountcharles home, and Thomas Given from Copany, a director of North West Alarms, had hoped to raise up to €50,000 through their cycle, islands walk and 24-hour trek on June 17-19.

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The event started with a cycle from Mountcharles to Burtonport on the Friday, a walk around the islands of Arranmore, Gola and Tory – ending in Downings – on the Saturday and then a 24-hour walk from Downings back to Mountcharles, over Meenaroy and the Bluestacks on the Sunday.

At a special event in the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny on Thursday night, they handed over a cheque of €53,293 to ‘Action for Hope’, a committee set up to fund-raise for a Pieta House facility in Donegal.

Speaking to the Donegal News on Friday, Mr Coyle said he was “over the moon” at exceeding their initial target.

Pieta House, the centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide, opened its doors a decade ago with Lucan the centre of operations. In the intervening years they have seen and helped over 20,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm.

At present, there are nine Pieta Houses in Ireland – the nearest to Donegal being in Tuam. Last year, in excess of 5,000 people came through its doors suffering from suicidal thoughts or engaging in self-harm.

In recent weeks, this paper revealed that a financial target of €180,000 to €200,000 for the provision of a Pieta House in Donegal has almost been met.

It also emerged that a delegation from Pieta House is to meet the ‘Action for Hope’ committee next month.

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That meeting will set out a time-frame for the commencement of a service which will offer a support to people in distress in the North west.

For further information on Action for Hope, or to organise a fund-raising event, log on to their Facebook page, e-mail actionforhope1@gmail.com or call the Pieta House West office in Galway on 093 25596.

A bank account has also been set up to accept donations for Pieta House North West project. This AIB account, which is under the control of Pieta House, is IBAN : IE03 AIBK 9335 6228 0734 86. BIC : AIBKIE2D

For full report, see Monday’s Donegal News.

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