Dundalk local Eric Beggs is organising his last ever Cooley Mountain Trek in aid of Irish charity Fighting Blindness. Eric is one of the charity’s star fundraisers and has supported the cause since 2017. To date Eric has raised over €137,000 and he’s hoping that a successful trek in August will help him hit €150,000.
Eric (69) was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in his forties and has no eyesight left as a result. His friend Peter, who is sadly now deceased, introduced Eric to Fighting Blindness and fundraising. Since then, Eric has completed treks, tandem cycles, Easter egg hunts, Church Gate Collections and more to raise money for the charity.
Eric is tireless in his efforts, he said: “I have organised many events over the years. I don’t care what I have to do as long as it works and helps to find a breakthrough. I think it’s probably too late to find something to help me now but, as long as there is breath in my body, I’ll keep working until they find something that can help younger people from losing any more sight.”
After this year’s trek Eric plans to ‘retire’ from organising major events and will instead run church gate collections and seasonal raffles for the charity.
Fighting Blindness is the only charity in Ireland funding research into cures and treatments for sight loss. “Eric has always been a passionate force of advocacy and support for Fighting Blindness, his tireless dedication to the cause of improving the lifestyles of people living with sight-loss is an inspiration to us all.” Kevin Whelan, CEO of Fighting Blindness said. “We are very grateful for everything Eric has done for us.”
The walk will start from the Lumpers in Ravensdale, Dundalk, Co. Louth and there will be two options for participants: a 10km walk starting at 11am and a 5km one starting at 12 noon. The registration fee is €20, which includes access to a post-event party with food, refreshments and entertainment. Free transportation is also provided, buses leave from Lisdoo Steak House on the Newry side at 10:30am and 11:30am.
For more information about the event, please contact Eric Beggs on 086 319 3675, Siobhan on 086 197 2715 or Harry on 087 261 0658.