A HARLEY Davidson rider will lead 30 motorcyclists across the country this week to help buy life-saving equipment for the thousands of babies born prematurely in Ireland every year.
Motorcycling enthusiast Sean Brennan, from Dublin, will for the second year running drive from the capital this Thursday, stopping off at nine hospitals around the country, including St Munchinâ€™s maternity hospital in Limerick on Sunday.
The cycle is in aid of the charity organisation Irish Premature Babies, the only Irish charity which specifically caters to helping these â€œvery special babiesâ€, their families and the hospitals where they are born. This year the â€˜Ride Out For Premsâ€™ annual event will take place over four days from April 26 to raise funds for life-saving equipment in neo-natal intensive care units and special care baby units.
Among the vital new equipment sought by hospitals include incubators, heart monitors, ventilators and apnoea monitors.
Mr Brennan was so moved by what he saw in the units last year that he felt he wanted to do ever more this year.
â€œThe Ride out for Prems is really unique as fundraisers get to see exactly where the funding goes. As we are a voluntary charity with very little overheads and no salaries, 100% of what each rider raised is going directly to buying equipment,â€ said Alison Molloy, founder of Irish Premature Babies.
The group represents the 4,500 Irish families affected annually by premature birth and the 500 babies that die every year as a result of their early arrival into the world. In each hospital, Mr Brennan and the founders of the group Irish Premature Babies met with specialists to assess the needs in the unit. After leaving Dublin, the group will travel to Drogheda, Cavan, Letterkenny, Sligo, Castlebar, Galway, Tralee, Limerick and Portlaoise.