It is easy to see by following the blog of retired school teacher Dermot Higgins, 55 from Rush, that he has not only broken records by being the eldest man to ever have cycled around the world, but he has also used his adventure to fundraise, meet new people, raise awareness, generally put the world to rights and have a really great time in the process.
Although Higgins is using his epic cycle to fundraise for Trocaire, he has also taken the opportunity to raise awareness for other good causes. One of these causes is a letter which a primary school pupil, Nevan, wrote to him expressing his concerns on America’s stance on climate change. Higgins now has a petition online racking up signatures which he plans on presenting to the US President to highlight people views on climate change globally.
Mr Higgins this week used his remaining time in the United States to rub shoulders with Irish political representatives during the St Patricks Day festivities, including our very own Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Higgins spoke to the County Leader and said, ‘I was invited to a reception hosted by the Irish Ambassador, Mr Dan Munhall, to mark the occasion of the arrival of our Taoiseach to the States. This was my opportunity, to meet not only the Taoiseach, but also as many influential people as possible and it was probably the best chance I was going to get of getting Nevan’s letter and petition directly to Mr Trump.’
He continued, ‘I seized my chance as soon as I had the opportunity and enjoyed a good chat with Leo. He’d been briefed on my project and was entirely supportive. Then, I found the most senior American political representative available and presented her with Nevan’s letter. Protocol dictated that I wasn’t allowed to use her name or take her photograph, but she assured me that the letter would be delivered.’
He concluded, ‘the fundraised figure for Trocaire is currently heading towards €11,000 but those of us cycling the final leg of the journey would like to see it increase much further, for the many good causes that Trocaire could use it for.’
Dermot is nothing if not enthusiastic and he will continue on the last 600km leg of his journey next week where he will be joined by some friends and familiar faces for the final cycle from Lisbon to Madrid and to continue his fundraising and complete his record breaking feat.