first_imgMichael McCullagh pictured at the recent launch of the bike gathering with his first cousin from Ballyshannon Aisling McLoone who is participating in the Great Ethiopian Run in November.Since 2002 Vincentian Lay Missionaries (VLM) have been sending volunteers to work in education and community projects across Ethiopia.Over the past eleven years more than twenty volunteers from Co. Donegal have travelled and worked in these projects.To celebrate the magnificent contribution that these and all VLM volunteers have made through the years, VLM has organized an All Ireland Vintage Motorbike Gathering which will finish in Donegal on Sunday August 18th next. Fr. Michael McCullagh, a Vincentian priest from Dungloe, is a director of VLM, a returned volunteer and one of the core team of bikers who will take to the roads of Ireland next week.He said “As a celebration of our work over the last decade we are holding an All Ireland Vintage Motorbike Gathering from Tuesday August 13th to Monday August 19th at locations all over the country. Local motor cyclists will come to meet the touring group and escort them into the various towns on the route.“We are also planning to meet with past volunteers on our tour which will stop in Carlow, Enniscorthy, Cork, Ennis, Galway and Sligo. I am delighted to say that the tour will finish in Dungloe and Gweedore on Sunday August 18th where a welcoming function will be held that evening.’‘In the past 10 years we have been sending volunteers to Ethiopia and have always got an excellent response from Donegal. Some of the projects where Donegal volunteers worked include St Josephs Kindergarten and Primary School, Bulbula, Alemachin rehabilitation centre for disabled children, Addis Ababa, the Ambo Lazarist School for the Deaf, Ambo and the Vincentian primary school in Bonga’ stated Fr. Michael at the recent launch of the All Ireland Motorbike Gathering. ‘We recruit volunteers on from various backgrounds including education, childcare, sign language, creative arts, carpentry, plumbing or electrics, hotel management, business and IT. Placements are generally for 1-3 months, available year-round. Anyone interested in volunteering with us can find out more on The projects we are involved in make a huge difference to disadvantaged communities in Ethiopia and many past volunteers have stated that their time in Ethiopia was one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives’ he added.VLM works in partnership with the Vincentian Fathers and the Daughters of Charity. Both congregations run a variety of projects across Ethiopia in both urban and rural settings. Projects are focused on education, women’s development and supporting people to build up their own business and livelihoods.RTÉ’s Mary Kennedy will officially launch the All-Ireland Motorbike Gathering from The Church Bar and Restaurant, Mary’s Street, Dublin 1 on Tuesday August 13th at 11.00 a.m.The core group of bikers, including Fr Michael will be waved off to their next stop which is Carlow town. Bikers from the U.K will join the main body of the tour and bikers from Germany will join the gathering later in the week.The final stage of the rout will be Donegal, with the core group passing through Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town and Mountcharles around Sunday lunchtime. The main highlight of the gathering will be an ascent of Glengesh Pass on Sunday afternoon, where over 100 bikers will gather in the local beauty spot, with the moment being captured by ariel photographers. This event will mark the centenary of a famous ascent of the Pass in 1913 by celebrated motor cyclists of the time.‘We hope that the All Ireland Vintage Motorbike Gathering will raise much needed funds for VLM’s work in Ethiopia. If you are a past volunteer, a regular VLM supporter or have attended our Gala Ball over the past few years come out and generously support the Bike Gathering this August’ concluded Fr. Michael.To donate online to this event, visit the Vincentian Lay Missionaries page on and for more information on the event please visit There will be daily updates on Radio na Gaeltachta or you can follow the event on Facebook at or Twitter at #VintageBikeGathering.BIKER PRIEST TO HIGHLIGHT WORK OF DONEGAL VOLUNTEERS IN ETHIOPIA was last modified: August 12th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

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