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St. Patrick’s Gortin Gold Rush Joined By Friends Abroad

Saturday 09.03.2013
Team Talk Mag

Preparations are well underway for the St Patrick’s Day Charity Cycle taking place in Gortin on Sunday 17th March 2013.  Consisting of a 60 mile, 30 mile and 10 mile fun-run, cyclists of every age and ability are now in the final stages of training for the St. Patrick’s GAA club event, which is also raising funds for NI Cancer Fund for Children. The 2013 event is set to repeat the success of last years inaugural cycle which saw over 300 cyclists take to the hills and valley’s of the Sperrin Mountains to meet its many challenges.  In a new dimension to this fundraising project, local cyclists have been joined by friends of Gortin GAA living overseas as the Gortin Gold Rush takes to the streets of Melbourne, Australia and the Pentland Hills in  Scotland.

County rivalry has been set aside in Ulster unity as Tyrone and Armagh Gaels join to form ‘Dundee Dentals for Gortin GAC’.  Professor Peter Mossey, Head of Research at Dundee University’s Dental School and native of Gortin explained, ‘We have a strong GAA Community at Dundee University and this event provides another opportunity for us to get together, demonstrate our support for our GAA clubs at home, raise money for a great cause and have a good days craic.  I will be leading a group of about 10 cyclists making up Dundee Dentals, including fellow Tyrone man, Eamonn McCann (Drumragh) and Mick Manion (Castlederg), as well as Armagh County footballer, David Comiskey (Tullysaran). We’ll be cycling a 30 mile route in the Pentland Hills starting from Abernyte outside Dundee on a route not unlike those in the Sperrins back home.”

As a leading figure in the development of the GAA outside Ireland, Peter Mossey was delighted to be invited to take part in St Patrick’s Gortin Gold Rush.  He said, “From my involvement in British Universities GAA, we can see how participation in Gaelic Games is growing worldwide.  As part of the games development, I am delighted to see opportunities for integration and collaboration between home clubs and those overseas.  I congratulate my home club at Gortin St Patrick’s GAA for taking forward this initiative and hope that the cycle will be another great success”.

Also joining the event from Melbourne are former Gortin GAC players Gerard Holywood and David Kearney who are leading a team of Aussies through the streets and outback of Australia.  Gerard explained, ‘Last year I took part in the charity cycle and it was brilliant.  I really enjoyed being part of it as most of my family was involved in some way, either cycling or helping out.  Although this year I’m far away, I still want to be part of it to show my support for the club and the rest of the family.  Myself and David are looking forward to it, and it helps us to feel close to home’.  David added, ‘Last year I cycled on the 17th in Melbourne, so this year it’s good to have a fellow compatriot to round up the troops and cycle for the cause.  We’ll set off from Melbourne and cycle to Frankston and back, a total for 80km. We have rounded up a few Aussies and fellow Irish men who are members of our Gaelic club here. We would like to wish all partakers the very best of luck for the training and on the day itself’.

Back at home, the St. Patrick’s Day cycle starts from the Community Centre in Gortin with registration and sign-in for the 60 mile event at 8am, followed by the 30 mile at 9am and the 10 mile at 11am.  In 2012, over a hundred cyclists from a wide range of cycling clubs joined the sponsored cyclists for what proved to be a challenging 60 mile cycle.  The 60 mile route takes cyclists from Gortin to Greencastle and along the main Omagh to Cookstown road before heading deep into the Sperrin Mountains bypassing Draperstown and returning to Gortin via the Glenelly Valley.   As Patrick Doherty of the Four Masters Cycling Club, Letterkenny told us, ‘I heard about the Gortin Gold Rush after last years cycle from members of the Foyle Club.  They have told me that this is a great route that would test many of us.  I’m really looking forward to giving it a go this year.”

For more information and to keep up to date with all the plans for the St Patrick’s Day Gortin Gold Rush on Facebook “Gortin GAC Cycle”.

Picture Captions:

Dundee Pic 2:  Extracting Charity from Dentists in Dundee: Final year Dental Students David Comiskey (left) & Eamonn McCann (right) will join their teacher, Peter Mossey (centre) and other Dental Colleagues (including M Mannion, Castlederg) on St Patrick’s weekend to support Gortin St Patrick’s GAC and NI Cancer Fund for Children.

Melbourne Pic:  Gortin GAC Charity Cycle Melbourne participants (Left to Right) David Kearney and Gerard Holywood who will be completing an 80km cycle


For more information on the event please contact Anita McConnell on 0784 156 8225 or Nigel McCarron on 077256 03141

For information on Dundee Dentals ‘Friends Abroad’ contact Peter Mossey on or 07900 897 560



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