Ironman gets motoring with charity challenge fund boost

Ironman gets motoring with charity challenge fund boost

15 November 2023

A DOWNPATRICK bus driver who completing a gruelling ironman event this summer in aid of charity, has been given a welcome boost by his work colleagues.

Dessie McGarry raised a whopping £1,013 for NI Chest Heart and Stroke at the Ironman 70.3 event in Cork and last week he was given an additional £1,000 from the Translink Staff Charity.

Dessie McGarry, who has been a bus driver for 21 years, explained why he took on the challenge.

“I slowly started to gain a lot of weight, so decided to do something about it and discovered a local triathlon club which helped me become healthier,” he said. 

“With the club’s help, I decided to challenge myself and signed up for Ironman 70.3 in Cork. It took a lot of hard work and training six days a week, but I stuck with it and made a lot of sacrifices along the way. 

“I chose a charity close to my heart, Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke, as my dad had a massive stroke seven years ago and was left completely paralysed on one side and totally dependent on family and carers. 

“His life has been very difficult, and we have all had to adjust to help him. From taking on the Ironman 70.3 challenge I have been overwhelmed with the support from family, friends, colleagues and Down Triathlon club members who were so generous.”

Dessie also received a £300 donation from staff and pupils at Ballynahinch High School.

He added: “The fantastic boost from the Translink Staff Charity Fund will help even more people and I’m extremely grateful for the added support.” 

Lisa Holland from the Translink Staff Charity Fund, said: “NI Chest Heart and Stroke is a fantastic charity, helping individuals and their families cope with the often devastating impact chest, heart and stroke illnesses can have. 

“It also works to prevent these illnesses by delivering health checks and health promotion programmes, funding research and campaigning for improved care, treatment and awareness.

“Dessie’s fundraising efforts have been extremely inspiring and we’re delighted to be able to support him with additional funds towards his chosen charity.”

The Translink Staff Charity supports a range of causes which aim to make life better for local people across Northern Ireland.