A MAMMOTH CHARITABLE FEAT
The people of Myshall have been involved in many charitable events over the years raising money for charities both at home and abroad. Each year money is raised for such charities as Sacred Heart Home Carlow, Multiple Sclerosis, Cheshire Homes, Tullow, BEAM, Bagenalstown etc. and of course when tragedy strikes e.g. with the tsunami in Asia in 2004 people are very generous. Young people from the area have not only given their time to raise money but have themselves travelled to numerous less-developed countries like Zambia and Kenya to help with various projects there. However, one of the greatest events to raise money for charity took place in 2006 when over €70,000 was raised from a Sponsored Cycle in aid of Cancer Care and Research. It all occurred because of one man, John Maher, who had been diagnosed with the dreaded disease but rather than sit back and wait for fate to play out its role he, with some of his close friends, mobilised the entire community to participate in some way in the cycle.
About 180 people turned out for the sponsored cycle from Oylegate, Co. Wexford to Myshall on Saturday October 21st 2006 in aid of the Irish Cancer Society and the Carlow/ Kilkenny Homecare Team. Prior to the event meetings were organised, help was enlisted and most importantly, sponsorship cards were circulated to raise money for a cause that’s never too far away from anyone’s doorstep. Although he was nearly through his first course of chemotherapy at St James’s Hospital it didn’t deter John, himself, from completing the 25-mile trek. Local lorry driver Fergus Nolan transported all the bicycles to Co. Wexford the day before the big event and Seán Roberts, local bus operator supplied the bus that transported the competitors to Oylegate. The oldest cyclist was 74-year-old Peter Kavanagh from Milltown, Garryhill who held his own on his 50-year-old bicycle. The youngest cyclist was in his early teens.
About a mile from the village of Myshall the cyclists came to a short halt to kit John out in the yellow jersey. To a rousing welcome he led the pack into Myshall at about 4.15pm, well ahead of schedule. After the race John said: “Everyone was in a great mood and it was a brilliant day”. As the year drew to a close it was apparent that John’s battle with the disease was also concluding but he said himself his burden was lightened knowing that he had the support and friendship of his entire community in the parish of Myshall. Sadly John died in March 2007 but the charity is still raising money for various charities.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam”
Tour Of Ireland 2008 passing over Mount Leinster
Photo: Andy Jones
A stage of the 1997 FBD Milk Rás passes through Myshall
Cycling appears to have a long tradition in Myshall, 1907 poster