Derry professors begin five day charity trek to Belfast

The Mayor of Derry Colr Elisha McCallion (ront row centre) pictured yesterday with Derry Professors  Siobhan O'Neill (left) and Paddy Gray and supporters before they set off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities. DER5115GS005
The Mayor of Derry Colr Elisha McCallion (ront row centre) pictured yesterday with Derry Professors Siobhan O'Neill (left) and Paddy Gray and supporters before they set off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities. DER5115GS005
0
Have your say

It will take five days in which they’ll walk a whopping 75 miles.

These are the Derry professors who put their best foot forward this morning as they began their mammoth trek to Belfast.

Professor Paddy Gray and Professor Siobhan O’Neill were hoping to have cleared at least 20 miles by tea time tonight where they plan to stop in Dungiven.

The second leg of the journey will begin tomorrow morning and the pair hope to arrive in Belfast on Monday.

The professors, who are both based at the University of Ulster at Magee have joined forces to help support four charities - Simon, Shelter NI, Samaritans and Cycle Against Suicide.

They will be walking in daylight hours and are keeping their fingers crossed that the snow stays off the Glenshane Pass.

Professors Siobhan O'Neill (left) and Paddy Gray pictured  yesterday with the Mayor of Derry Colr Elisha McCallion before they set off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities. DER 5115GS008

Professors Siobhan O'Neill (left) and Paddy Gray pictured yesterday with the Mayor of Derry Colr Elisha McCallion before they set off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities. DER 5115GS008

“We want people out and about in their cars to beep the horn at us,” said Paddy.

“We’ve been joined by people today and others have pledged their support on the route.

“We’re looking forward to it but behind our walk is a serious message. I’m a professor of housing and very concerned with issues around homelessness and mental health while Siobhan has done a lot of work on suicide. “So we decided to come together and do this. And we are deliberately doing it at this time of the year when people are concerned about suicide and mental health. On the way we are raising money for charity.”

Derry Professors  Siobhan O'Neill and Paddy Gray from the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster pictured outside the Guildhall yesterday before they to set off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities ' Simon, Shelter NI, Samaritans and Cycle Against Suicide. DER5115GS007

Derry Professors Siobhan O'Neill and Paddy Gray from the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster pictured outside the Guildhall yesterday before they to set off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities ' Simon, Shelter NI, Samaritans and Cycle Against Suicide. DER5115GS007

Derry Professors  Siobhan O'Neill (left) and Paddy Gray from the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster pictured with Professor Deirdre Heenan, pro-vice chancellor of the university, prior to setting off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities.  DER5115GS006

Derry Professors Siobhan O'Neill (left) and Paddy Gray from the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster pictured with Professor Deirdre Heenan, pro-vice chancellor of the university, prior to setting off on a 75 miles five day trek from Derry to Belfast in aid of four local charities. DER5115GS006