Malin to Mizen Cycle
The IASE (Irish Association of Supported Employment) Trail Blazers embarked on a great Malin to Mizen Cycle Challenge in late March / early April 2008.
This 5 day challenge to cycle 444 miles from Malin Head, Co Donegal - the most northerly point of Ireland - to Mizen Head, Co Cork - the most southerly point of Ireland – commenced on Sunday March 30.
Photo by Eamon O'Boyle - Enda Kenny joins the IASE Trail Blazers on route from Malin Head to Mizen Head. Deputy Kenny cycled the 20 miles from Charlestown to Claremorris.
Three cyclists managed to complete the challenge from start to finish with many cyclists joining them for sections of the journey. Belmullet based businessman Eamon Padden, Rose Kennedy (Belmullet) and David Ryan, Secretary IASE (Limerick) spent up to 8 hours every day, in the saddle, travelling across difficult terrain and busy towns on this taxing route. One of the most notable cyclists to join the challenge was Enda Kenny, TD, who cycled the 20 miles from Charlestown to Claremorris on Monday last.
Day two of the cycle finished in Mayo with a welcome reception being hosted by Mary Mulryan and Edel Cadden of the Mayo branch of PWDI. Seamus Weir, Cathaoirleach Mayo County, John O’Mahony TD and President of Claremorris Chamber of Commerce, James Keane were on hand to welcome the arrival of the cyclists.
Enda Kenny TD at top speed. Photo by Eamon O'Boyle.
The Head to Head Challenge is the brainchild of IASE in an effort to raise the awareness of supported employment for people with disabilities throughout Ireland. IASE (Irish Association of Supported Employment) is a registered Charity and not for profit organisation established in 1994 with the aim of promoting best practice in Supported Employment throughout Ireland. It had been organised by IASE a national registered charity based in Belmullet that aims to promote Supported Employment for people with disabilities throughout Ireland.
National Chairperson, Castlebar man, Greg Barry commented on how delighted he was to see so much commitment from the cyclists for this tough challenge which will also help raise awareness of the national Job Shadow Initiative taking place on April 23 this year. The IASE Job Shadow Initiative is a national project designed to bring together people with disabilities and local employers in the spirit of collaboration to enable job seekers explore the world of work. The initiative gives people with disabilities the unique opportunity to shadow a workplace mentor as he or she goes through a normal working day. It is envisaged that through exposure to a work setting, job seekers with disabilities throughout Ireland will learn more about job requirements and employers expectations. They will also gain an awareness of the skills and education required to compete, develop and succeed in the workplace. Employers will gain an increased appreciation of the talent represented by job seekers with disabilities and a better understanding of how workers with disabilities can help them meet their staffing needs.
Enda Kenny TD with Linerick man David Ryan on route from Charlestown to Claremorris as part of the Malin to Mizen Challenge to raise awareness of supported employment of people with disabilities in Ireland. Photo by Eamon O'Boyle.
Mr Barry wished to thank the main sponsor of the Cycle, Belmullet Rose 2008 organiser Linda Conway. He also thanked local businesses who helped to cover the costs associated with the cycle which included SNAP Printing Mayo, Padraig Conroy (Belmullet), D&G Plumbing (Belmullet). He also expressed his thanks to the members of the National Executive of the IASE and staff members in the Belmullet office, Sarah Togher and Noreen McHale for their support and commitment to the success of the cycle.