Killian and Collete Doherty pictured during wedding celebrations in Rosemount last year.
Forget Ryanair or Aerlingus, a man with strong Rosemount links is taking a more unusual travel route from Spain to his wife's homeplace in the UK.
Celebrating their nine month wedding anniversary on Sunday last, Killian Doherty from Bishopstown, Rosemount and his wife Colette set off on their bikes from Valencia, to begin the gruelling 1,440 mile journey through Spain and France to Birkenhead in Liverpool. The pair, who work in tourist industry in the Catalonia region of Spain, decided on the unconventional way of returning home after finishing their jobs at the end of the season.
"We've worked it out that it will take about us a month. We are aiming to do around 50 miles a day," an excited Killian, a graduate of Moate Business College, told the Westmeath Independent, just prior to beginning the marathon journey.
"A lot of people have said that's bloody mad, are you serious? But the way I see it's there to be done, and why not? I'm looking forward to it, seeing all the different places in Spain and France. It should be interesting to cycle through rural France," he laughed joking that his Leaving Cert French is a bit rusty.
The couple are taking on the testing challenge to raise money for The Olive Foundation charity, an organisation dedicated to raising awareness and improving the treatment of cystic fibrosis in Ireland. Sadly, Killian lost his older brother, Fergal to the disease in 1994.
"We chose the charity to raise awareness of the disease and the fact that one in 20 people could be the carrier of the gene in Ireland. We also have the highest rate of cystic fibrosis in the world," he said, adding that they have already collected over €800 and would love to break the €1,000 mark.
Although born and reared in Bray, Co Wicklow, Killian relocated with his family over seven years ago to Rosemount village. A graduate of Moate Business College, where he studied Travel and Tourism, he has been working as a cycling courier and cycle tour guide in Spain for the last few seasons. It is there he met his wife and they were married in her home town of Birkenhead in the UK last January, followed by a celebration in Rosemount the following month.
Looking forward to the challenge, Killian explained that they have cycling all summer so fitness should not be an issue, although he admitted this kind of endurance cycle is bound to be tough at different stages.
Asked what he intends to do when they get to their final destination of Liverpool, the Rosemount man simply laughed: "sleep like a baby for a month". The public can track the couple's progress and see maps of their route which takes in places like Barcelona, Dijon, Lyon, Paris and Portsmouth via Facebook and their sponsor webpage at www.mycharity.ie/event/killian_dohertys_event/