Local family’s boost for charity and bike club

A local family have been praised for showing the better side of North Antrim and their village in particular.

Bill Kennedy was speaking in his capacity as Armoy Road Races Clerk of the Course after donations were made to his club as well as to a Ballycastle girl who suffers from a rare neurodegenerative genetic condition called Ataxia-Telangiectasia (also referred to as Louis–Bar syndrome).

Denis and Francesca McMichael and their children, Rachael and David, throw open their home on the Lagg Road every year during the race providing a useful vantage point for enthusiasts.

Bikes, camper vans and cars are grateful for the parking space and in return for voluntary donations, which are divided between a nominated charity and the Bike club, refreshments are served.

The family began their fund-raising six years ago and this year’s total has topped the lot.

Just over £1500 was collected £820 of which was presented to the A-T Society and the remaining £700 to the club.

Commending the McMichael’s, Mr Kennedy said the initiative was something the family did not have to do but did so with a willing heart and providing a very useful service to supporters of the race.

“These are very fine people doing what they do for the Bike Club and charity. They do everything in their power to assist us and in doing so are showing the better side of the people of North Antrim and Armoy in particular,” Mr Kennedy said.

Francesca revealed that her family would be repeating the exercise this year and hopes for another record-breaker!

She has praised all those who helped her cater for the visitors as well as those who gave so generously on the day.

Sixteen-year-old Sophie, who is a lower sixth form student at Cross and Passion College in Ballycastle, was delighted to receive the cheque. Accompanied by her dad, Simon, mum, Pauline and sister, Zoe, Sophie thanked the McMichael family for all their kindness.

Ataxia-Telangiectasia causes severe disability and the Society works to improve the quality of life and care for people living with the condition while promoting research to find a cure.

There are few cases in Northern Ireland and Mr Lynn revealed that Sophie has to travel to England to help with treatment.