Charity cycle to aid mother of three stroke victim’s recovery

Galway Daily life & style Connacht players to visit clubs for Care4Claire charity cycle

A charity cycle from Galway to Sligo will raise money for the ongoing recovery and support of a mother of the three who suffered a life changing stroke.

Connacht Rugby is organising the provincial-wide charity cycle in aid of 35 year old Claire Carpenter, which will take place in August.

The 218km Care4Claire cycle from The Sportsground to Sligo RFC will involve both Connacht staff members and club volunteers, all with the aim of raising much-needed funds.

On February 10, Claire suffered a stroke at her home in Coolaney, Co. Sligo after days of feeling unwell.

After being rushed to the ICU unit of Beaumont Hospital she was placed in an induced coma for over a week following a life-saving operation.

Claire is now thankfully on the road to recovery, however significant funds need to be raised to allow her to continue her rehabilitation in Dun Laoghaire, and eventually lead an independent life at home.

Claire’s partner Ross Mannion is a Rugby Participation Officer with Connacht Rugby, and the couple have three children Luke (14), Anna (10) and Zach (7).

The pair were in the process of organising their wedding this summer which was already twice postponed due to COVID. Their wedding has again been postponed while they focus on Claire’s health and wellbeing.

Shortly after her stroke, a GoFundMe page was set up to support Claire and her family through her recovery, with over €90,000 raised to date.

The aim of this charity cycle is to increase that number even further, and give Claire, Ross and their children the help they need and deserve.

The cycle will begin at The Sportsground in Galway in the early hours of Saturday 13th August and will finish at Sligo RFC.

The route will take in all five counties with stops in Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Frenchpark, Carrick-on-Shannon, and finally Ross and Claire’s home in Coolaney, before the final stretch to Sligo RFC.

Taking part in the cycle will be representatives from clubs around Connacht, as well as a number of Connacht Rugby staff members including Andy Friend and Eric Elwood.