News

Roy's epic 1,000 mile charity trip from Belfast to Carrick

15 September 2017

An intrepid fundraiser is driving from Belfast to Carrickfergus - but with a twist involving a detour of almost 1,000 miles.

Roy McCann is taking the "long way around" - going clockwise through Ireland and visiting places as far apart as Waterford and Donegal.

His mission is to raise money for the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice.

Roy (59), who works as a water engineer, will be travelling and sleeping in his 110 Land Rover Defender.

He said: "I can't wait, I am counting down the days until I can go.

"I have always wanted to do this drive around Ireland and when I turned 59 in July, it hit me that some people don't make it to my age and then I got thinking about the children who don't make it.

"I thought why not do something worthwhile with the trip?"

The journey takes place from September 15 to 22. Roy will be starting in Belfast, making his way down to Waterford, up to Donegal, along the northern coastal route and back to Carrickfergus - making nine stops, and covering just under 1,000 miles over seven days.

The event was originally called the Long Way Around from Belfast to Carrickfergus but was renamed Clockwise Ireland 2017 "because it is a bit easier to say," Roy joked.

To make the journey more comfortable, the Land Rover has been converted and houses a bed, a BBQ and even a minibar.

Roy said the support from family, friends and the public has been "outstanding".

"My wife Janice and two boys Michael and Chris have been really supportive," he added. "My wife knows that I have always wanted to do it. She told me to go and do it while I still can."

Countless local businesses have been offering their services, from filling the tank up to providing a packed lunch for day one.

Roy added: "I am blown away by the generosity of people. If it is not donating money, it is helping out with logistics."

He initially hoped to raise £1,000 from the tour, - but now believes it could be a lot more.

To make a donation for Clockwise Ireland 2017 you can do so at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/roy-mccann