Hugh and friends set to cycle all the way to Ireland in support of the Hospice

If you’re going to take on a challenge, you might as well make it a big one.

But even then, Hospice supporter Hugh Friel’s feat of cycling all the way to another country is an effort that really stands out.

Hugh, 54, will be joined by three friends on his bike ride from Clydebank to Kerrykeel in Donegal, Ireland on 1 April 2017.

The engineering firm manager, who lives in Glasgow’s King’s Park, is taking on the 270-mile trek to raise funds in memory of his sister Maureen Eileen Deeney, who passed away in the Hospice last June.

Hugh said: “It’s for a great cause. I can’t thank the Hospice enough for what they did for both Maureen and ourselves.

“Maureen had worked at the Hospice for 10 years as Ward Manager in the Mary Aikenhead Centre.  Maureen was cared for by her Hospice colleagues and friends and received the most overwhelming care. She was treated as if she was a queen, as every single one of their patients are.”

Looking ahead to the trip with pals Paul Stitt, Rui Rossa and Anthony Preston, Hugh admitted he will find the physical challenge of the cycle difficult.

But he will be spurred on by the emotional pull of their destination and the aim of pushing his fundraising total, which already stands at more than £1800, as high as possible.

Hugh added: “I hadn’t cycled in 35 years! We’ve cycled to Dunoon and back in our training.

“When we set off in April, we’re starting early in the morning and hoping to get to the boat in one day – it’s 90 miles.

“We’ll be staying in Belfast on the first night. The hardest bit will be the Glenshane Pass, which cuts through the Sperrin Mountains. We’ll be doing that on the Sunday.

“And by Monday we arrive in Kerrykeel. That’s the place where where my father and Maureen’s husband’s father are from.

“I want to raise as much as I can. The thing I’m looking forward to most is getting finished… and raising as much as we can for the Hospice!”

To donate to Hugh’s appeal, please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/HUGH-FRIEL