Novice cyclists to travel from London to Achill to raise money for Epilepsy Ireland

A charity cycle from London to Achill will be held from Saturday, August 20 to Saturday, August 27 in memory of Shane Corrigan who passed away in 2018 from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

The Castlebar native died of SUDEP, aged just 23 and only three years after he was first diagnosed with epilepsy. Shane is remembered for his larger than life, determined personality. He was popular, unfailingly positive and had the ability to bring people together. He is buried in Achill Island.

The cycle will raise much-needed funds for Epilepsy Ireland and SUDEP Action.

Most of the group are inexperienced cyclists and none of them have tackled a ride like this before.

Shane’s mother Margaret said: “This will be a serious challenge for all of us because we are all ages, shapes and sizes and none of us are what you would call ‘cyclists’. I’d not ridden a bike for over 30 years until I started training for this so it’s a massive step into the unknown.”

Margaret continued: “‘We are doing this to make a difference in memory of Shane. We want people to know about epilepsy risk and SUDEP so that the lives of others can be saved. If this bike ride from London to Achill, a journey Shane loved making in life, can prevent just one epilepsy-related death it will be worth it.

“Shane insisted that the hardest thing about living with epilepsy was having to tell other people he had it. He once said ‘I either have to really care about someone or barely know them, because once I tell them I have epilepsy I can see people’s perception of me change. It’s as if they are scared of me, or the possibility that I will have a seizure when I am with them.”

In Ireland, it is estimated that there are 130 epilepsy-related deaths every year. Approximately 50 to 60 of these can be SUDEP. SUDEP can usually happen out of the blue; at night during sleep; and the cause is not fully understood. In many deaths, the person is young and healthy.

Peter Murphy, CEO of Epilepsy Ireland, said: “At Epilepsy Ireland, our vision is to achieve a society where no person’s life is limited by epilepsy. We work closely with our colleagues in SUDEP Action to raise awareness of SUDEP and provide people with epilepsy in Ireland with important information to manage and reduce their risks. With the funds raised from the cycle, we plan to extend SUDEP Action’s renowned SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist to Ireland. This will undoubtedly help to prevent future SUDEP related deaths in Ireland and will create a lasting legacy in Shane’s memory.”

Jane Hanna, CEO of SUDEP Action, said: “We work to support bereaved families, but we also strive to bring about change, to prevent further deaths from SUDEP and stop others from having to endure what Shane’s family and friends have gone through. Money raised through this ride will help us to bring our award-winning safety tools to Ireland.”

Those participating in the charity cycle will be in the Summerhill, Co. Meath on Wednesday, August 24, and Athlone Town Centre seeking donations on Thursday, August 25, collecting.

To donate to the cycle, visit the dedicated Gofundme at the following link: