300-mile run in memory of Dr Laverty

AN athlete is planning to run the whole way around Northern Ireland in memory of former Moyle councillor Dr Theo Laverty.

‘The Six Counties Run’ will raise cash for Action Cancer and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The Run will begin in Belfast on Wednesday 5th October with Co. Fermanagh-born Tom McGrath planning to run through all six counties on his 300-mile marathon, in memory of Dr Theo Laverty.

Tom will arrive back in Belfast on Saturday 15th October, in time for the Six Counties Run Grand Gala Dinner at the Europa Hotel.

The purpose of this charity run is to raise much needed funds for Action Cancer and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Dr Theo Laverty was diagnosed with cancer in February 2011 and sadly passed away a short time later on 3rd April. Theo was Head of Chemistry in Dominican College, Portstewart although, at the time of his death, he was seconded to the teachers’ union ATL, of which he was Nothern Ireland President.

He was an elected member of the General Teaching Council of Northern Ireland and a member of the Policy Committee. He was also a Principal and Supervising Examiner with CCEA and co-author of a leading GCSE Science textbook.

Theo previously worked in Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle, Larne Grammar School and St. Malachy’s College, Belfast. He was very involved in life in Ballycastle and served as a Moyle District Councillor.

In his earlier life Theo was an outstanding sportsman. He earned a Blue, playing a key role in the Queen’s University football and hurling teams in the 1970s.

He captained the Irish Universities and Colleges Soccer Team, and was selected for the British Universities team. As an 18-year-old Theo was a member of the Armoy hurling team which won the Co Antrim Junior Title. Maintaining an interest in sport in later life, Theo was chairman of the Moyle Sports Advisory Committee for eight years.

Tom McGrath, originally from Co. Fermanagh and now based in New York, is a record-breaking athlete with an impressive history of competitive and charitable achievements.

He is owner of the The Black Sheep Bar in New York City. Before moving to America, Tom trained as a teacher in St Joseph’s Training College where he studied Physical Education, Psychology, Geography and Religious Education.

He is a very accomplished sportsman. He represented Munster in basketball, played for Fermanagh in the 1970 and 1971 All-Ireland Finals, won the Mid-Ulster Light Middleweight boxing championship in 1971, and has played soccer at several levels. He has been running since 1965.

The local legs of the event are as follows:

* Thursday October 6 - Ballymena at 8:30am; Armoy at 5:30pm, Ballycastle at 7:30pm.

* Friday October 7 - Ballycastle at 8:30am; Ballymoney at 12:30pm, Coleraine at 2:30pm.

Moyle councillor Cara McShane urged the public to get involving saying Dr Laverty was “a man held in high esteem in this community”.

She asked for a reception to be held in Ballycastle when the event reaches the town and that was agreed by Moyle Council.

If you would like to get involved you can donate at JustGiving or get a sponsorship package to run or walk. For the main route, contact Action Cancer’s Emma McArdle 028 9080 3349, emcardle@actioncancer.org

For the North Antrim Route (Ballymena to Coleraine via Ballycastle), contact Marie Curie’s Anne McRoberts 028 9088 2065, anne.mcroberts@mariecurie.org.uk (please supply your t-shirt size and postal address).