Ryan Farquhar is planning further fundraising events in aid of the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland service after organising a successful clay pigeon shoot during the festive period.
The Dungannon man knows only too well the importance of having a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service [HEMS] in Northern Ireland following his serious accident at the North West 200 last year.
Farquhar was airlifted to hospital after being treated at the roadside and says the experience ‘brought it home to me how important it is to have an air ambulance’.
Almost £5,000 has been raised after Farquhar organised the Christmas event at Rathfriland Clay Pigeon Club on Thursday, December 29, which was attended by TT Sidecar winners Ben and Tom Birchall, Manx rider Conor Cummins and Jeremy McWilliams, a regular at the North West 200 in recent seasons on Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki Supertwin.
“I organised a shoot last year and I gave the money to Action Medical Research, but this year because I’d been hurt at the North West and a helicopter played a big part in saving my life, I just thought it was right to support the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance,” Farquhar said.
“We’ll look at doing a few other events in the future such as another clay bird shoot, but I’d like to maybe do a ride out as well, as I think that would be well supported. It’s not just a one-off and there will be other events planned.
“The Birchall brothers, Ben and Tom, came over and Conor Cummins came along too, as he was already over here. Jeremy [McWilliams] was there as well so it wasn’t just people from the shooting world,” he added.
“I’m still getting donations and we’re not far away from £5,000, so I’m hoping we’ll have £5,000 or more when we hand over the cheque.
“To have this service for 365 days of the year is a huge benefit for everyone in Northern Ireland and it will save lives.”
Farquhar, meanwhile, remains committed to running his KMR team again in 2017 at the NW200 and TT.
“I need to get things sorted out but I haven’t spoken to the organisers of the North West or TT in any great detail yet, so I need to sit down with them and have a chat. I also need to talk to a few riders and get a package together that suits everybody,” he said.
“I’m still not fit to work at bikes but the lads all seem keen to chip in, so with a bit of luck come May and June we’ll have our bikes out there.
“My BMW Superstock bike is there and I’ve a few Supertwins sitting there as well. There are a few riders I would like to talk to but until I sit down and talk to organisers and sponsors, we can’t really move forward yet.”