Tack attack on cyclists mars charity event

The line-up of cyclists in the Glen2Glen challenge.
The line-up of cyclists in the Glen2Glen challenge.

ORGANISERS of a South Derry fundraising cycle say a deliberate sabotage along their route failed to dampen the event in any way.

Participants in the Glen2Glen cycle who travelled from Glen in Maghera to Glen in Donegal on Saturday (June 15), were stalled along the way due to a minor incident involving tacks on the road.

It’s understood a quantity of tacks were spread along the road surface in the overwhelmingly Protestant village of Artigarvan near Strabane, resulting in delays and punctures for the group.

The event, organised by Watty Graham’s GAC in association with The Northern Ireland Transplant Association in support of former Derry GAA player Joe Brolly’s campaign, has enjoyed cross-community support throughout South Derry and so far around £60,000 has been raised.

One of the organisers of the Glen2Glen cycle Eamon Convery said he was unsure of the motive behind the sabotage.

Someone saw fit to put tacks on the road and it caused 28 punctures so our support vehicles were busy trying to get them sorted and back on their way again. The event was supported by Protestants and I hope that this incident was not in any way anti-GAA,” he said.

“It really set us back – we don’t know why the people would have done this. It did spoil it a bit but I think that made us all the more eager to finish it.”

The £60,000 raised will go towards the Gaelic club with a sizeable percentage of the cash going to the Northern Ireland Transplant Association.

“It was a horrible day weather-wise and then when the tacks caused the punctures it set us back and we had to hang around which resulted in us getting soaking wet. However it made everyone more determined to carry on,” he added.