Portlaoise schools gear up for cycle

Jim Breen with Christy Bannon at last year's Cycle Against Suicide.
Two Portlaoise secondary schools are co-hosting the national Cycle Against Suicide when it stops over in Laois for the first time this Friday night May 8, and are asking the community to come and support them.

Two Portlaoise secondary schools are co-hosting the national Cycle Against Suicide when it stops over in Laois for the first time this Friday night May 8, and are asking the community to come and support them.

The 1400km cycle around Ireland set off from Belfast on March 29, with over 1,000 cyclists taking part.

It is led by businessman Jim Breen who wants to spread the message ‘It’s ok not to be ok, and its absolutely ok to ask for help’.

On arrival to the schools around 6pm on Friday, there will be music, entertainment, facepainting and more.

On Saturday morning, cyclists will arrive to the schools at 9am, for a mental health event in the hall. There will be celebrity guest speakers, student performances and a display of both schools’ Amber flag teams efforts to promote mental health over the year. Local organisations will have information on their facilities. The cycle will depart at 10.30.

“We urge the community of Portlaoise to come out, wear orange, and support the cycle both Friday evening and Saturday morning and help make our stop a great success,” said CBS teacher Stephanie Buckley.

A team of students and teachers from Scoil Chríost Rí will join the cycle from Thurles for the 60km spin to Portlaoise, while the next morning a team from St Mary’s CBS will cycle with them to Tullamore.

Scoil Chriost Ri guidance teacher is Madeleine Hearne.

“The idea is to raise awareness of the help and supports that are available for anyone battling depression, self-harm, at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide,” she said.

To give accommodation on Friday night to a cyclist, contact Christy Bannon to 086 8598461.