Bray People - - NEWS - By MARY FOG­A­RTY

Sports jour­nal­ist and former Olympic cy­clist Paul Kim­mage cut the rib­bon on the new TrioBike at Saint Joseph’s Shankill re­cently.

Res­i­dents, fam­ily mem­bers and vol­un­teers en­joyed beau­ti­ful sun­shine dur­ing the event, at which Mr Kim­mage wished the res­i­dents happy trav­els on the TrioBike.

‘I for one know just how won­der­ful it is to ex­pe­ri­ence the sense of free­dom of cycling and it is amaz­ing to wit­ness the res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies en­joy­ing this TrioBike de­spite the lim­i­ta­tions of their ill­ness,’ he said.

The TrioBike was pur­chased from funds raised through a num­ber of fam­ily and staff-run fundrais­ers. Ai­dan O’Toole, whose wife Kaye re­sides in Avoca Lodge at Saint Joseph’s, completed a 60 length swim in order to contribute to the cost of pur­chas­ing the bike.

Ai­dan said he wanted to say a mas­sive thank you to every­one that do­nated, par­tic­u­larly some long-term friends who wished to re­main anony­mous. They were with his Tri­ton swim­ming club based at Pres, which pro­duced the only Ir­ish born swim­mer ever to win a gold medal at the World Univer­si­ade Games, Ai­dan’s son Gary O’Toole. The in­volve­ment of Ai­dan’s friends was an enor­mous boost. ‘One of them said to me if I didn’t reach the tar­get he would write a cheque for any out­stand­ing bal­ance. ‘His con­fi­dence in me proved right as I also raised €1,600 to­wards a sec­ond bike.’ Ai­dan said that the happy at­mos­phere cre­ated be­tween man­age­ment, staff and res­i­dents at St Joseph’s is in­fec­tious mak­ing the big­ger pic­ture much eas­ier. ‘My motto in life is - “Do some­thing for some­body ev­ery­day, for which you dont get paid”. Kind­ness is a univer­sal lan­guage found in a smile and St Joseph’s has the big­gest smile of all,’ said Ai­dan. The date of the swim, Fe­bru­ary 10, was sig­nif­i­cant. It was Kaye’s birth­day, and she was one year in full-time care the same week. Ai­dan’s project cre­ated such aware­ness for the tri­o­bikes, that Carla Clarke from Cycling With­out Age said that a fur­ther six bikes were or­dered in Ire­land. ‘It would be re­miss of me not to men­tion the great ca­ma­raderie within St Joseph’s,’ said Adian. Most Saint Joseph’s res­i­dents no longer have the phys­i­cal abil­ity to ride a bike but the TrioBike al­lows them to en­joy the out­doors, the wind in their hair and a spin to the park or around the grounds of Saint Joseph’s.

Some of the vol­un­teers who took part in the clean-up.

Paul Kim­mage with Ai­dan O’Toole and Jim Leahy.

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