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Ballycastle man turns grief to charity

A Ballycastle man who lost his wife and uncle in a tragic road traffic collision is lacing up his running shoes to run four half marathons in four days to raise money for the Air Ambulance NI.

Paul Quinn lost his beloved wife Tracey and his uncle Fred in November 2020 and on that fateful day, the Air Ambulance had been en route to them.

Paul said: “Back in January I was out running with my friend Damian Devlin and he broached the topic of doing a run for charity.

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“I thought this would be a great idea to give something back and after doing some research, Damian came up with the Extreme North (Quest) run. It’s four half marathons in four days and takes in the Wild Atlantic Way including Malin Head and Inishowen, it won’t be plain sailing but the different route each day should provide some stunning scenery for us to admire.”

Damian Devlin, Kevin Murphy, Paul Humphies and Paul Quinn PICTURE KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

Paul and Damian won’t be running the Extreme North (Quest) in Donegal alone for they’ve managed to convince fellow Ballycastle Runners AC members, Kevin Murphy and Paul Humphries to join them.

Paul added: “Once I approached the other two fellas it was full steam ahead, we got it booked and are keeping up with the training. The roads will be narrow and some of the hill climbs will be over 1000 foot in places, it’s not something you’d approach without taking it seriously.”

Paul continued: “The charity everyone picked was the Air Ambulance NI which was quite an emotional moment for me. It was only 18 months ago that I was involved in a road traffic collision and lost my beautiful wife Tracey and my uncle Fred.

“The Air Ambulance had been on its way to us that day, but unfortunately was diverted back to base. We are so fortunate to have this Air Ambulance available for everyone in Northern Ireland in the event of an emergency and I for one understand the importance of it and saving lives at the roadside. This vital service which is able to get to remote locations is dependent on fundraising to keep it operational.”

Paul, Damian, Kevin and Paul are appealing to the public to dig deep and donate towards this vital service.

Damian, who is a member of Ballycastle Coastguard, knows and sees first-hand how often the service is called out to various incidents on a daily basis.

He said: “Each day costs in the region of £5,500 and £2m is needed each year to keep the air ambulance service operational. They rely entirely on support from the public and local businesses and fundraising such as ours. We’d ask that people donate whatever they can, as little or as much as possible, it will all make a difference to saving someone’s life.”

To donate to any of the runners who will be undertaking the four half marathons in August, go to any of their Facebook pages for the link to JustGiving.

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