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Maple Group Celebrate Their First Anniversary with News of a New Store Coming Soon.

Just twelve months after the of opening of their first store, Donegal owned Company, Maple Group, now with six convenience stores, five with forecourts located throughout rural communities in Donegal, announces plans to expand.

Brian Murphy, General Manager of the Maple Group said “We are delighted with news this week that we have secured planning permission for a new store in the county. A further announcement will be made soon.”

“We wanted to create a brand with an independent purchasing ability, so that our customers could get not only great value but products that they previously could not source locally. We  will continue to source the best value and quality products for our customers. We will continue to build on our quality Lazazza Coffee offering, our fresh ready made meal offering, our locally organically grown produce and baking offerings. We have partnered with local suppliers such as Cois Farraige Bakery, Bunbeg, Kinnegar Brewing, a craft beer company based in Letterkenny, NA Tithe Gloine Cill Ulta based in Falcarragh. Partnering with Circle K and Donegal Oil Company have also given us the ability to remain competitive for our forecourt services in five of our stores.”, said Brian.

Maple Group stores are located in Milford, Carrigart, Castlefinn, Burtonport, Falcarragh and Derrybeg & the ethos behind the new brand was to provide a fresh, convenient offering for their customers by stocking fresh locally sourced products. Their partnerships with local producers will lead in the coming months to an initiative thats in the planning stages, “A Produced in Donegal for Maple Group”.

Speaking on behalf of the group, managing director Arthur McMahon commented, “We are absolutely thrilled to announce that in just a short twelve month period our plans to expand our brand to further locations throughout Donegal are well underway. We currently employ 60 people from the local areas and hope that we can double that within the next two years.”

The Maple “Community Fund Project” was launched in their Derrybeg store earlier this year, another initiative enabling local charities & groups to avail of additional funding. This initiative was set up so Maple could give back to their local communities in appreciation of their custom. It will be rolled out in all six locations before the end of the year.

Maple Group have helped raise over €50,000 for local and national charitable organisations. The Stores will continue to offer their premises to assist and help local & national fundraising campaigns.

In all locations the expansion plans are welcomed by their customers and staff, who have supported the fact that Maple are local and independent and community focussed.

The dedicated and friendly managers and staff would like to take this opportunity to thank their customers for supporting their local Maple and Maple Express Store and for all their business over the past year. Building on the best customer shopping experience and service is what Maple management and staff will continue to deliver. Serving customers in the heart of their local communities is at the heart of the Maple Brand.

Gardaí in Letterkenny highlight the Defibrilator located outside the offices of Donegal Oil Company on Port Rd. as part of their Community Engagement Project

The Gardaí Headquarters in Letterkenny have recently set up a Community Engagement Project in Letterkenny. This Community Engagement Project aims to provide people in the area with their own dedicated community driven form of Policing. Gardaí and members of the community and statutory and voluntary agencies will work together to prevent crime, prevent anti-social behaviour, reduce the fear of crime and improve the overall quality of life for people in their own communities.

They aim to provide the people in areas with their own dedicated Garda, someone with whom they can discuss everyday occurrences and build up a strong and supportive personal relationship, help the residents by supporting initiatives such as Neighbourhood Watch and Community Alert.

Along with crime prevention initiatives, the Gardaí also want to highlight emergency services located around Letterkenny. Donegal Oil Company have erected a defibrillator outside their Head office at Port Rd., Letterkenny. It is the only one located along this very busy stretch

It came about from he efforts of eight ladies who took part in the Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra 2018, came to fruition when their charity fundraising raised money purchased this Defibrillator.

Garda Sandra Kilcoyne  commented, “ The Port Rd. area of Letterkenny is busy at all times of the day with alot of Businesses located here as well as the Letterkenny Institute of Technology. It is the main entrance to the town and the Letterkenny Shopping Centre. Runners, walkers & cyclists use this stretch of the road at all times of the day & night. Hopefully it will never be needed but in the case that it is, they want people to know that it is there for anyone in the event of an emergency, we wanted to highlight to our local business and residential communities”.

Photo : Pictured outside the offices of Donegal Oil Company is Arthur McMahon, managing Director, Donegal Oil Company, Garda John Reynolds and Garda Ronan Morris, both stationed at Letterkenny Garda Station.

Defibrillator installed on a busy Port Rd., Letterkenny outside the offices of Donegal Oil Company.

The efforts of 8 ladies who took part in the Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra 2018 last June, came to fruition when their charity fundraising raised money to install a Defibrillator, adjacent to a busy Port Rd., outside the offices of Donegal Oil Company.

The Port Rd. area of Letterkenny is busy at all times of the day with alot of Businesses located here as well as the Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

It is the main entrance to the town and the Letterkenny Shopping Centre. Runners, walkers & cyclists use this stretch of the road at all times of the day & night.

The ladies raised €1280 from their very first 555k Cycle Race and purchased this piece of live saving equipment.

Hopefully it will never be needed but in the case that it is, they want people to know that it is there for anyone in the event of an emergency.

They would also like to thank everyone for coming along to the launch especially Eibhlín Friel, Paramedic with HSE, Letterkenny.

Missing from photo is Lourde Walshe.

Photo Credit: Brian McDaid

4 DONEGAL LADS TO HOST A DOCUMENTARY ON THEIR JOURNEY FROM AMERICA THROUGH THE TOUGHEST CYCLE RACE IN THE WORLD.. ON THE BIG SCREEN FOR AUTISM

 Next Monday evening 17th September 2018, the only four man Team from Donegal and the only team from Ireland that undertook & completed a 3000 mile cycle from the West to East Coast of America, will be screening for the very first time their documentary filmed & directed by Ryan Doherty & Paul Doherty at Century Cinemas, Letterkenny.

 The four lads themselves, Arthur McMahon, Gavin Harris, Padraig MacGinty & Gerard Callaghan have not seen this themselves & won’t until they see it on the big screen, so they have no idea what is going to be shown. The work behind the scenes with the film directors & Century Cinemas has been ongoing & Team Donegal Oil and their huge following of first time #haveago followers are so looking forward to seeing this for the first time.

Oisin Kelly from Highland radio will compere the event with a Q&A session afterwards, which promises to be an honest portrayal of the good and the bad encountered on the journey from Southern California, through 12 States to finish at the ramp in Annapolis, Maryland.

All proceeds from the screening will go towards the fund-raising campaign that they have currently ongoing to raise money to provide schools, sports clubs & organisations in County Donegal with educational and sporting aids which will assist in the personal development, wellbeing & fitness of children & adults on the autistic spectrum. Every cent raised will be spent in the county.

“We are eternally grateful to everyone who donated however small and in anyway to our charity to date and we are super excited that we can share with you our journey on the “toughest cycle race challenge in the world”. We are four ordinary guys from a small part of Ireland that undertook this enormous challenge not knowing what was ahead of us, but we are lucky that we completed it safely with all 4 cyclist & 12 crew in tact. It is an experience we will share with our families and friends for many years to come & we hope that we can also inspire others from Donegal to consider undertaking this challenge themselves in the years to come. One thing we discovered that anyone can do anything they want provided they believe they can & they have the crew & support required. So I personally am encouraging everyone I meet to #haveago at any outdoor fitness or adventure challenge and to get off their couches, it’s so important for eveyones health & wellbeing & in today’s society we all need it.” concludes Arthur.

If you would like to see what actually went on & how these four lads & their crew survived this tough, both mentally & physically challenge then purchase your ticket, with every cent going to the Autism Charity online at the link below: TICKETS ONLY AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE ONLINE, YOU CANNOT PURCHASE TICKETS AT THE DOOR ON THE NIGHT.

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/documentary-for-team-donegal-oil-ireland-race-across-america-2018-fundraiser-for-autism-tickets-49487539563?aff=ehomecard

Photo: Padraig MacGinty, Gavin Harris, Arthur McMahon, Gerard Callaghan, the Four Man Team from Donegal, Ireland who took part in Race Across America RAAM 2018 in June 2018 for Autism. Photo by Ryan Doherty.

The Donegal Oil Foundation presents The Little Angels School in Letterkenny with Four Bicycles.

This week, the eyes of the pupils of The Little Angels School in Letterkenny lit up with huge excitement when Arthur McMahon from The Donegal Oil Foundation & Terence Diver from Divers Hyundai presented their School with four brand new bikes for the kids to #haveago at cycling in their school playground.

Last April, Arthur McMahon, Terence Diver & Barry Foley took part as a three person relay team in The Race which is a 250 km unsupported endurance event across the rugged landscape of North West Donegal and the 3 lads completed it as part of Team Donegal Oil. Terence Diver very kindly put up a prize of a drive in the passenger seat of Eugene Donnelly’s Hyundai i20R5 Rally Car in the hope that people could would donate to their chosen charity, The Little Angels School and whoever entered had the chance of winning this amazing opportunity at the same time.

The money raised went towards purchasing these four bikes locally from LK Bikes & they were delivered to The Little Angels School this week.

Speaking on behalf of The Little Angels School, Angela Keane said “We are absolutely delighted to receive these gifts from the Donegal Oil Foundation and as you have seen from the look on the children’s faces they were super excited. We would like to thank Arthur McMahon from The Donegal Oil Foundation and Terence Diver from Divers Hyundai along with Gavin & Mark from LK Bikes and to everyone who thought of our school when they were fundraising through their Team Donegal Oil event. Our children will look forward to taking on board the #haveago ethos and form their own little cycling club in the school now.”

Arthur McMahon, Founder of the Donegal Oil Foundation said, “Just seeing the eyes & faces of the kids today when they saw the bikes makes everything that Team Donegal Oil and the Donegal Oil Foundation do so worthwhile. We have so much more to give to local charities, schools & clubs just like this on an ongoing basis & I would like to thank everyone who helped make this possible including Terence Diver from Divers Hyundai who not only took part with Barry Foley & myself in the Race but donated the prize to enable us to raise money to purchase the bikes.”

Pictured here with children and staff members of the Little Angels Schools and their bicycles are; Arthur McMahon, Donegal Oil Company & founder of The Donegal Oil Foundation, Angela Keane, Principal of The Little Angels School, Mark Hunter, LK Bikes, Gavin Hunter, LK Bikes & Terence Diver, Divers Hyundai.

WELL KNOWN LOCAL DERRYBEG MAN & OLDEST CUSTOMER CUTS THE RIBBON ON NEW MAPLE STORE!

Jimmy Gallagher, the oldest customer from Maple Derrybeg was delighted to cut the ribbon when he was asked by manager Cathy Sharkey at the official opening & charity family fun day at the new Maple Store in Derrybeg last Saturday. Speaking at the opening Jimmy said “There is not a day goes by but I am in this store, whether its just to get a paper or some milk, I just love coming into the store. The staff and girls are so friendly & I am looking forward to many more years of walking from my house to this lovely new Maple Store. I was delighted & am happy to be asked to cut the ribbon today.” The first of six Maple Convenient Stores and forecourts was officially opened last Saturday in Derrybeg. The Derrybeg store was formerly a Happy Days store & was recently acquired & rebranded by Donegal Oil Company. Alot of work & preparation has gone into the rebrand & roll out of this new chain of Convenience Stores in Donegal. This is the first to open and the rest will follow at Castlefin, Milford, Falcarragh, Burtonport & Carrigart in the coming weeks & months. A substantial investment has been made in the Derrybeg store to date. The local food & fuel offering is now second to none & the store will be hard to beat locally for value, convenience & selection. All fresh foods are sourced locally from local artisan food suppliers & that ethos will continue & the Maple brand which is about about fresh, convenient & local intends to build a strong local offering for many years to come. Speaking on behalf of the management & staff Cathy Sharkey commented, “We are absolutely delighted with the way the store has turned out from the forecourt, signage, uniforms, store renovation and the fresh artisan & locally produced & locally grown fresh food offering. It has taken a long time to get to this stage but when you come into the shop or forecourt you will see the hard work, thought & sweat that has got us to this stage. Our staff are the friendliest staff in our locality & just love being part of this new Maple brand & we look forward to welcoming you to Maple Derrybeg soon.” The official launch was held as part of a Charity Family Fun Day and the chosen charity was close to the hearts of the staff at Maple. Helping to Fight Leukaemia and the Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust was chosen as Grace Ann Brady’s son is recovering from treatment after being diagnosed with Glaucoma. The staff would like to thank everyone for their support and to everyone who has donated to their chosen charity!

Photo: Arthur McMahon, Donegal Oil Company, Grace Ann Brady, Cathy Sharkey, Manager Maple Derrybeg, Brian Murphy, Maple Group Manager & Jimmy Gallagher, Derrybeg. Credit: Owen Clarke Photography

 

Four Donegal men are gearing up, with just a week to go, to raise money for autism when they compete in the 4 person team section of Race Across America (RAMM 2018) next Saturday.

Milford native, Arthur McMahon, Padraig MacGinty from Downings, Convoy’s Gavin Harris and Gerard Callaghan from Letterkenny will fly the flag for Ireland when they race for Team Donegal Oil Ireland in the world’s longest cycling time trials which gets underway on Saturday, June 16th at Oceanside, California.

The local quartet are the only Irish team entered in this year’s RAAM. The famous annual ultramarathon bicycle race was first held in 1982.

This team, which will be managed by their crew chief, Letterkenny and Dunfanaghy based auctioneer, Boyd Robinson, will cycle 3,000 miles across 12 states and climb over 170,000 vertical feet.

Team racers have a maximum of nine days to complete the distance, with the average finish time for teams being seven and a half days. Solo racers have a maximum of 12 days to complete the race.

Donegal Oil Company Managing Director, Arthur McMahon, who was responsible for setting up the Donegal Oil Foundation four years ago, revealed that to date, €30,000 has been raised for local and national charities through Team Donegal Oil’s participation in endurance events locally & nationally & to take this now to an international event is an exciting challenge.

“All the expenses of our RAAM trip have already been raised through sponsorship (“Miles” by Circle K and Donegal Oil Company), by the cyclists and crew themselves so every single cent we raise for Autism will be spent in Donegal for the benefit of children and adults on the Autistic spectrum”.

“It is our intention, through the Donegal Oil Foundation, to raise money for schools in County Donegal and provide educational aids in the form of technology products for children on the autistic spectrum. We are calling out to schools, charities, sporting and other organisations in Donegal to register with our Donegal Oil Foundation, so they can avail of educational aids to assist with their internal programs for children they teach and coach with autism,” says Arthur.

Entering a four-person team in RAAM is something that Arthur himself has been mulling over for the last few years. After drawing up a plan at the start of the year, and securing support and sponsorship, it’s all systems go to take part in the Race Across America next week.

“To be able to pull together a team of people from Donegal who already know each other for one of the most grueling cycling events in the world will make this challenge something very special,” Arthur commented.

“Our company have always supported local fundraising efforts and that won’t change. However, we have a really busy few years ahead for our Team Donegal Oil Ireland initiative and we’d like to make sure that there’s a lasting benefit from all our hard work.

“We have a few rules about how we handle funds raised by the Foundation. Every three months we will publish on our Facebook page all the money raised and donated by the Foundation. All funds raised will only be donated in County Donegal. We will always aim to buy equipment for the organisations we seek to help rather than giving money. We will never take any salaries, expenses or fees of any kind from the Foundation.”

“We wanted to have an open and transparent way of showing people how the money raised was spent. That’s why we have rules about what we can help with,” he added.

“We are very excited about the Donegal Oil Company Foundation Programme. We are delighted that we can help children and adults with autism to get as much of the most up to date modern technologies and training possible to assist and help with their education, personal development & fitness. We also hope that in doing this, we will also raise awareness for autism in the county.”

Looking ahead to the event, Boyd Robinson said “RAAM is the ultimate test for crews and riders in the ultra-cycling world. I am delighted with the team that we have put together. After taking part in the Team Joe Barr 500 mile race, it showed what a hardworking and fantastic crew that we have assembled for this challenge. We will be put through the greatest of tests, both mentally and physically as a team over 3,000 miles, and it’s one that we can’t wait to take on,” he said.

RAAM riders will start from Oceanside, California, under one of the longest piers in California and travel from west to east, finishing at the City Dock in Annapolis, Maryland. It promises to be some adventure for the Donegal crew in between and there will be many highs and lows to share.

The Donegal Oil Foundation have set up an online donation page and donations can be made through the following link:

https://www.ifundraise.ie/3801_donegal-oil-foundation—fundraising-page-in-aid-of-austism.html

You can also follow the Race on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/TeamDonegalOilIrelandRaceAcrossAmerica2018/

And on Twitter:

As part of their ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, Donegal Oil Company have set up a ‘Donegal Oil Foundation’. Over the past 4 years they have raised over €30,000 through various Endurance Events through their Team Donegal Oil Programme for many different charities in Donegal and Ireland.

This June 2018, four Team Donegal Oil members and Donegal locals, Arthur McMahon, Padraig MacGinty, Gavin Harris & Gerard Callaghan will take part in the biggest endurance race in the world, The Race Across America (RAAM 2018). It is their intention, through the Donegal Oil Foundation, to raise money for Schools in County Donegal and provide Educational Aids in the form of technology products for children with Autism. They are calling out to Schools, Charities & sporting organisations in the County to register with the foundation so they can avail of Educational Aids to assist with their internal programmes for children they teach and coach with Autism.

Arthur McMahon, Managing Director of Donegal Oil Company commented saying, “Our company have always supported local fundraising efforts and that won’t change. However, we have a really busy few years ahead for our Team Donegal Oil initiative and we’d like to make sure that there’s a lasting benefit from all our hard work. We’ll be asking local schools, charities & sporting organisations, who need help with buying specialist equipment, to contact us.”

“We’ll have a few rules about how we handle funds raised by the Foundation. These are; We will always publish on our Facebook page, every 3 months, all the money raised and donated by the foundation.  All funds raised will only be donated in County Donegal. We will always aim to buy equipment for the organisations we seek to help rather than giving money. We will never take any salaries, expenses or fees of any kind from The Foundation.”

“Team Donegal Oil has raised over €30k for charity in the last 4 years and we wanted to have an open and transparent way of showing people how the money raised was spent. That’s why we have rules about what we can help with. Keep an eye out for things that Team Donegal Oil are getting up to over the next few months and we are happy that any funds raised through The Foundation will be distributed in County Donegal in a transparent way”.

“We are very excited about the Donegal Oil Company Foundation programme and we are delighted that we can help children with Autism to get as much of the most up to date modern technologies possible to assist & help with their education. We also hope that in doing this, we will also raise awareness for Austism in the county, so please do get in touch,” concludes Arthur.

The Donegal Oil Foundation have set up an online donation page & you can donate through the link below :

https://www.ifundraise.ie/3801_donegal-oil-foundation—fundraising-page-in-aid-of-austism.html

You can follow all updates on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DonegalOilFoundation/

Your support is greatly appreciated.

It takes brave souls to even contemplate attempting the Race Across America, which is known as the ‘world’s toughest bike race’. But these four Donegal lads have been planning this for some time, training hard & they will travel to the United States this coming June to take part in the “ Race Across America” and they are ready to take on the biggest challenge of their lives.

The ultramarathon event, which was first held in 1982, is one of the longest endurance races in the world, trumping the Tour de France in terms of distance. The course for RAAM generally extends from the west to the east coast of the US and is approximately 3,000 miles long, spanning 12 states from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland. It generally takes a little over a week and up to 22 hours a day of cycling for a solo competitor to finish, though in a four-man event, it is possible to take just over five days to complete the race in occasional cases. To make matters even more difficult, there is a time limit placed on competitors — nine days for teams, so these 4 Donegal lads hope to complete this within the time limit afforded to them. They will be passing through some of the most iconic American landmarks including the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Monument Valley, Great Plains and Gettysburg. The popularity of the event has increased steadily, with over 35 countries represented since its inception 35 years ago.

Local businessman, Arthur McMahon, Managing Director of Donegal Oil Company and Team Donegal Oil Founder, has had this in the back of his mind for a while. Always looking for the next big challenge, Arthur gently mentioned this to three of his Donegal cycling buddies, Gerard Callaghan, Gavin Harris & Padraig MacGinty and there was never a question of how would they do this, they all immediately agreed to take on this challenge, the biggest cycling challenge that they themselves could ever imagine to take part in.

Arthur McMahon, an endurance athlete in his own right played rugby until he was 36 years old and, by his own admission, didn’t do very much for 7 or 8 years after that. He found that he missed the dressing room camaraderie and banter and struggled to find something to replace that. He did some motor racing for a few years and really enjoyed that and then got involved in the original Coastal Cancer Challenge in Dunfanaghy, County Donegal to help raise funds for Cancer Research, and he was hooked.

At the finish line of that event Arthur remembered thinking, “That was great, with some more training I could go much, much faster”.  “How wrong I was! It turns out I couldn’t go faster but I could go longer, much longer.  So, for the last 6 years I’ve basically been training and racing slowly, but for a long time, and I love it. My first Ultra distance event was The Race.ie in March 2014 and then Race Around Ireland (4 man) in 2015.  Last year I did Coast2Coast Ireland, a single day adventure race, The Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra, a 555km bike race in a 2 person team with my wife Julie, and Ironman Barcelona. There are so many other great races in County Donegal, WAAR being my favourite, that adventure is never far away.  I’ve been mulling over the idea of a 4 person RAAM for a few years and this year, with the fantastic help of Circle K and Donegal Oil Company, we can finally get to the start line. It’s great to be able to pull together a team of people who already know each other for one of the most grueling cycling events in the world and we are looking forward to this challenge.”

Gerard Callaghan from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal commented, “Cycling was the first sport I really took seriously as a child. By the age of 14 I was regularly competing at cycling events around Ireland with the help of our local cycling club ‘The Tir Conaill Wheelers’. At the age of 15, I was part of a three person team for the Irish Time Trial Championships and we won, that was the highlight of a very intense but also satisfying period of my teenage years. For the next 20 years motor sport became my priority, competing both nationally and internationally. Motorsport is a passion I think will be with me always. I’ve had success as both a driver and co-driver. By 2012, with a young family, I had decided that I wanted to be an active role model for my children so I took up cycling again!. The urge to ‘Have a Go’ and challenge myself came right from the start and I was regularly competing in local adventure races and cycling events pretty much straight away. ‘The Race’, a 24hr ultra adventure race was my first attempt at ultra racing and I’ve completed it every year since it started in 2014. In 2015 I completed Race Around Ireland in a 2 person team. I’m looking forward to Race Across America 2018 with Circle K Team Donegal Oil Ireland with huge excitement.”

Padraig MacGinty from Downings, Co. Donegal, also commented, “Growing up in rural Ireland and not being of farming stock, there was no donkey or tractor at hand, therefore the chosen mode of transport was the bicycle. Without the bicycle there would have been no discos, no visits to the candy shop, no music lessons and definitely no rendezvous with the fairer sex in neighbouring villages. Ireland is not known for its tropical climate nor is it known for its flat landscape, so it proved to be a fantastic training ground for a young man as he constantly battled in the strong head winds, pouring rain and battled all those hills. During my time in secondary school, there was an absence of a cycling club, and so I focused my energies and my playground was the running track. During this period, I noticed very quickly that finishing second was not an option and so my competitive streak blossomed, and this has remained with me to this day, whether in sport or my career as an Audiologist. I am really looking forward to RAAM 2018 and meeting up with other nutters of the same mindset. Bring it on!”

Gavin Harris from Convoy, Co. Donegal was mostly involved in motor sport, particularly stage rallying as a young man. He started when he was about 17 and it was a big part of his growing up years. In 2007 he hit eighteen and a half stones on the scales and thought he had better do something about it so he started cycling.  In his own words he said, “Before long I was cycling competitively and that led to an adventure or multi-sport race involving running and kayaking. After a while of doing that I had a go at Triathlon and found I was enjoying that too. I did my first Ultra, TheRace.ie, in 2014 and they seemed like a great bunch of people so I ended up competing with and against many of them in the Race Around Ireland 4 man team in 2015. In 2016 and 2017 I did therace.ie again, for anyone who has competed in it, it’s a real endurance test!  A mixture of running (64km), climbing (5km), kayaking (15km), cycling 170km around some of the most stunning parts of Donegal. 20 hours non-stop in the month of March with not so favourable weather conditions. I also did The Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Race (555km solo) in 2016 and the sunburn is just fading now from Ironman Barcelona in September last year.  I can’t wait until June comes around so that we can get RAAM started and the excitement from planning & training is just unreal.”

Securing sponsorship from Circle K, was a huge factor in this team of four being able to financially & logistically being able to plan, execute, put a crew together & take part in this event. Topaz are currently globally rebranding to Circle K and the timing fits perfectly for this sponsorship. Circle K has already launched it’s brand across America & will be rolling out in Ireland this year. The team have branded themselves as “Circle K Team Donegal Oil Ireland” and their branded clothing, logo & online presence will launch soon.

Arthur McMahon and the team at Donegal Oil Company have also launched “The Donegal Oil Foundation”. When asked what it is, and why he’s doing it Arthur said, “The company has always supported local fundraising efforts and that won’t change. However, we have a really busy few years ahead for our Team Donegal Oil initiative and we’d like to make sure that there’s a lasting benefit from all our hard work. We’ll be asking local charities, sporting and other organisations, who need help with buying equipment, to contact us.  We’ll have a few rules about how we handle funds raised by the Foundation. These are: We will always publish on our Facebook page, every 3 months, all the money raised and donated by the foundation.  All funds raised will only be donated in County Donegal. We will always aim to buy equipment for the organisations we seek to help rather than giving money. We will never take any salaries, expenses or fees of any kind from The Foundation.”

“Team Donegal Oil has raised over €30k for charity in the last 4years and we wanted to have an open and transparent way of showing people how the money raised was spent. That’s why we have rules about what we can help with. Keep an eye out for things that Team Donegal Oil are getting up to over the next few months and we are happy that any funds raised through The Foundation will be distributed in County Donegal in a transparent way.”

Now it’s cycling training and Arthur, Gerard, Gavin & Padraig are geared up & looking forward to the biggest challenge they will possibly ever undertake in their lives & they would like to extend a thank you to their families, friends & sponsors for their encouragement & support & they look forward to taking you on their journey from now until the finish line! And if you can support them in anyway by sharing their journey & charity fundraising efforts online they would be eternally grateful! RAAM USA here they come!

Photo: Arthur McMahon, Gavin Harris, Gerard Callaghan & Padraig MacGinty.

 

Arthur McMahon, Team Donegal’s founder, held an open evening to encourage & inspire ladies from right across Donegal to get off the couch & take part in training for next years 2018 Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Challenge 555k Cycle along Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Coastline, as part of an 8 person ladies only team for Team Donegal Oil.

A huge number of ladies came along to the open evening at the offices of Donegal Oil Company looking for inspiration, encouragement and to express their interest in taking part in Donegal’s biggest cycle challenge. And they got it!

Arthur McMahon, explained to the ladies how the process worked after they register their expression of interest, what was involved & how Team Donegal Oil would help them complete this endurance challenge.

Arthur McMahon commented, “Everyone who wants to be included need to commit, they need to be self motivated & work as part of not only an 8 person team but as part of an overall larger support crew & each individual will have a chance to contribute their own strengths to ensure the teams success. It’s not just about completing the challenge though, but enjoying the journey and having fun, making new friends & participating. I was overwhelmed to see the response to our Facebook Post calling out for ladies to register their expression of interest for this challenge. Although we have to narrow it down to an 8 person ladies team, we will also need a ladies crew & back up support. I wish everyone of you ladies the very best of luck”. says Arthur.

Shaun Stewart, organiser of the Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Cycle Challenge, gave a simple outline of the 555k Cycle Challenge route & how to fit in certain parts of the challenge route into an overall training programme. Shaun said “We did have some all ladies teams participate last year, and we are delighted to have Team Donegal Oil, encourage a novice team of ladies to take on the challenge next year. We also welcome anyone who perhaps won’t make the team to consider entering a team themselves. Going by the amount of interest expressed & the ladies present, we could easily make up 10 teams. I would like to wish Team Donegal Oil & all the ladies the very best of luck.”

Grania McGinty, from Downings a busy working mum, took part earlier this year in the “Couch to 555k” Challenge, as part of an 8 person with Team Donegal Oi. She gave a blow to blow and honest description of the route they took, the challenges & organising they did to ensure that everyone was motivated, fed, looked after & how they as a team gelled which led to them successfully completing the challenge, all of whom had never done anything like this before. Grania is a really true Inspiration & the ladies related to her excitement and enthusiasm. Grania gave the ladies a really great piece of advice, “ You all must go into this with the mindset not only to #haveago but to enjoy it and have fun.” Grania finished by saying,  “Myself & my other team members, have become great friends since day 1 & still take part in challenges together & we are so grateful & thankful to Arthur McMahon from Team Donegal Oil for giving us this amazing opportunity and encouraging us to get off the couch. We will all be friends for many many years to come.”

The inspirational evening finished with Donegal’s inspirational speaker and motivator, Nikki Bradley from the Motivation Factory. Nikki Bradley is a real inspiration herself & you could listen to her all day, a real motivator & inspiration. This young woman from Donegal has taken on & completed many extreme challenges herself, many thought impossible over the years, she was delighted to be able to provide inspiration & encouragement to the ladies in the room. Nikki is an adaptive adventurer, motivational and mental health speaker, SideStix ambassador and the founder of ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’.

Nikki’s life has not been what you would call, ‘normal’. Diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer (Ewing’s Sarcoma) at sixteen and the receiver of a second total right hip replacement at the age of twenty six, Nikki has been on a truly unique journey. So unique in fact, she has been informed by her consultant that she is currently one of less than ten people worldwide to have lived through what she has. In 2013 Nikki set up a fitness based awareness campaign called Fighting Fit For Ewing’s where she regularly participates in physical challenges to highlight the importance of exercise for rehabilitation.

Nikki’s story was warmly felt throughout the room & as she said herself to the guests, “If I can do what I’ve done, anyone can set their mind to take part in any challenge that will improve not only their fitness but their mental health wellness and by taking part in a team of ladies novice cyclists, like this one, will be a journey that before you would not have had a chance to participate in and one that you certainly will never forget. The fact that a company like Donegal Oil have had the foresight to set up a Social Corporate Responsibility part of their business to encourage people to participate in activities to improve body & mind, at no cost to the participants, is truly amazing & I wish everyone on this journey every success. I am delighted to see so many women getting active & this is the first step in your own individual journeys, the fact that you are here tonight says it all, good luck ladies.”

“Team Donegal Oil was set up to encourage and motivate people who are sitting on the couch, thinking of doing something active and who would love the opportunity of a support team to help them to just simply #haveago at anything that will increase their fitness levels and mindfulness & just get them off the couch. We all know that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind and we all need support and encouragement sometimes. This is Team Donegal Oil’s 3rd year & we are continually trying to encouraging more people to join us and we are delighted by the response from right across the county from an amazing bunch of ladies. I would like to wish these determined, motivated ladies well with their application & look forward to training which will start soon. These ladies will #haveago & we will do this together.”  concluded Arthur McMahon.

Photo Caption:
Arthur McMahon, Team Donegal Oil, Nikki Bradley, The Motivation Factory and Rory Kennedy, Smart Renewables.