Carn based cycling club joins forces with Gardaí in Mizen to Malin Head Cycle
Members of the Carn based Saddle Rock and Garda Cycling Club will cycle around 700 km from Mizen Head to Malin Head in memory of the late Garda Gary McLoughlin and Garda Robbie McCallion, to raise money for four charities chosen by the McLoughlin and McCallion families.
Inishowen Garda Inspector David Murphy, who worked with both Gda. McLoughlin in Buncrana and Gda. McCallion in Letterkenny said the Mizen Head – Malin Head cycle was a ‘fitting tribute’ to the two ‘fine young Gardaí’ who are still ‘fondly remembered’ by their colleagues in Donegal, both past and present.
Insp. Murphy said the memorial plaques in Buncrana and Letterkenny Garda Stations are ‘daily reminders’ to Gda. McLoughlin’s and McCallion’s colleagues of their sad deaths.
The Senior Garda praised the work of the two cycle clubs for organising the event, which leaves Mizen Head on Monday, September 8 and is due to arrive in Malin Head on Friday, September 12.
“I’d like to acknowledge the huge effort the Garda Cycling Club have put into organising this event, I can imagine it would take considerable advance planning as well as the cyclists themselves preparing their own physical fitness for the cycle.”
“The second Mizen Head to Malin Head cycle is a fitting tribute to two fine young officers who were stuck down, whilst on duty, within months of each other in 2009,” added Insp. Murphy.
Force rocked by death of popular Gardaí
Garda McLoughlin, a popular 24-year-old Buncrana Garda from County Leitrim, was killed when he went to the assistance of two detectives who were chasing the driver of a red Opel Astra, namely Martin McDermott, a Raphoe man with 91 previous convictions, on the main Bridgend – Burt road on December 13, 2009.
McDermott, who was later sentenced to eight years jail, with the last year suspended for the manslaughter of the Buncrana Garda, turned his course during the chase and drove straight at the patrol car in which Gda. McLoughlin was driving.
The Co. Leitrim Garda, who had been serving in Buncrana for four years since he graduated from the Garda Training College, died the next day in hospital.
Nine months previous Garda Robbie McCallion was killed in another road traffic incident in Letterkenny.
Gda. McCallion, whose father Bob is from Carndonagh, was tragically killed when he tried to stop Jamie McGrenaghan from getting away in a stolen car by setting up a roadblock.
McGrenaghan, then 19, denied the manslaughter of Gda. McCallion and was found not guilty by a jury, but he had pleaded guilty to causing the death of the Mayo Garda and was later sentenced to six years imprisonment.
All monies raised from the cycle will be divided between the Donegal Hospice, Mayo/Roscommon Hospice, the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Jack and Jill Foundation.
If anyone wishes to donate to these charities, all of the Saddle Rock Cyclists will have sponsorship cards.