Next Friday night, May 31st sees the annual John Lynch Perpetual Shield cycle from Muff to Moville. This year is a special one as it’s the 20th anniversary of the cycle.

20 years ago, Padraig McGeehan, the then proprietor of The Ture Inn and Sean Rawdon of Rawdons, decided to organise a sponsored cycle between the two bars and raise money for The Foyle and Donegal Hospices. The two men had great intentions but a little rivalry was present as well (just who would raise the most money!).

And so the annual cycle was born. John Lynch, from Culmore became actively involved in the organising and fundraising of the event. He did a lot of work behind the scenes and was treasurer of the event for many years. Sadly John passed away 7 years ago and the cycle has continued in his honour. Between the two areas, Muff and Moville, over €120,000 has been raised for the Hospice to date.

Over the years there were many fun evenings of the cycle. From children being towed behind cars on their bicycles and adults popping into a number of bars en route to quench the thirst, many a story has been told! A number of characters since gone and many still around took part in this now historical event. Pat Doherty Post from Muff was one such character who participated. Stories which can never be told! Manus Early, Junior McConnellogue, Packie McConnellogue and many others have made the trip by bicycle to Moville and back. I was even part of it one year and cycled in the back of Collie Lindsay’s van on the way home! I may have been at a standstill in the back of the van but the pedals were still going around! As were Thomas McColgans and Joanne Tweedies!

The village has also produced two young professional cyclists in recent years. Ronan McLaughlin is now a pro and travels the world with the sport. He is a member of the Irish cycling team and is doing exceptionally well in the field. More recently the young Matthew Doyle has been selected to cycle in this years’ World Championship in Italy for the Irish team. Matthew is currently based in Belgium where he is cycling all over Europe with a Belgian cycling team. The Muff to Moville annual cycle has helped these two young men in becoming the cyclists that they are today.

The Lynch family put a lot of work into the organisation of this event each year. David Lyle from Moville now assists with the Moville end of the cycle and Thomas McColgan and his gang the Muff element.

The original organiser of the cycle Padraig McGeehan is returning from France to participate in this year’s event. Padraig was a great friend of John Lynch and family and it will be great to see him on the bicycle en route again!!

The usual refreshments will be served in Rawdons and The Squealing Pig on the night and an extra large turn out is expected next Friday.

The cycle is due to commence at 7.15pm sharp from The Squealing Pig and Rawdons. A great night’s entertainment will await afterwards in The Squealing Pig, Muff. A barbeque and music and much craic will be had way into the night (depending on Brian and staff and the Pig clock!)

Do come along and support the cyclists on the night and Eugene and Golly will keep you all entertained later. Let’s help make this 20th anniversary cycle one for the history books and be a part of furthering the work of The Foyle and Donegal Hospices.