Dublin, Ireland, Sept 2021 – On Saturday Sept 18th former professional rugby players, Peter Bracken (Tullamore RFC, Connacht Rugby, Wasps, Ireland A) and Mikey Smyth (Terenure RFC, Connacht Rugby), embarked on their attempt to drive through the 32 counties of Ireland in 24 hours in a 100% electric car, kindly donated by Connolly Motor Group (Ballina, Galway, Letterkenny & Sligo). 

Peter and Mikey officially started their adventure from Caracastle, Co. Mayo at 3.08pm on Saturday Sept 18 and finished near Tubber, Co.Galway at 12.42pm the following day driving clockwise through all 32 counties. People joined the guys on their journey as they sing songs and had fun as they live-streamed their journey on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/petertrys) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/petertrys32counties/) – #PeterTrys32Counties. “Our intention was to catch up with old friends, have some craic, raise some money and prove that electric cars are a brilliant option in Ireland and we successfully did that. We picked up our friend Wayne Brennan (https://www.instagram.com/waynebrennanphotography/) about a third of the way round who took over some driving and got all professional with the videography and drone footage !:)”

“People tend to be a little hesitant to buy electric cars even though they know how brilliant they are to drive (much smoother, more comfortable, faster, better acceleration than petrol/diesel cars) and they also know that an electric car’s carbon footprint is 3 times less than equivalent fossil fuel cars over its lifetime, so they know they are just better cars in every way but it’s the worry about charging that stops people going greener even though they want too. We wanted to show that there is plenty of charging points in Ireland and to ease people’s worry in this regard. Doing something exceptional to prove this rather than just talking about it is always better. 

Yes, the charging infrastructure needs to continually get better and it is continually improving. All the myths and bad charging experiences are lessening every month and the charging myths seem to stem from years ago when the charging infrastructure wasn’t up to scratch. 95% of charging is done at home at night while you sleep just like a mobile phone anyway. Add to that the continually improving charging infrastructure and we’re getting there. If we could up the destination charger game then we’re done (charging points at hotels, shopping centres, theatres, national parks, tourist destinations, off-street charging etc)” Peter.

The guys chose Rare Diseases Ireland as the beneficiary of their fundraising efforts in recognition of all the awareness, advocacy and support that they offer to people living with rare conditions and their families.  “We all know someone with a rare disease and we really appreciate the invaluable work that RDI do for the rare community, so we decided to help in a way we could.”

If you would like to support the guys and RDI, you can still donate via their iDonate Page https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11414493_peter-bracken-s-page.html. Full details of the route are available on rdi.ie

Vicky McGrath, CEO of Rare Diseases Ireland said “We are delighted that Peter and Mikey chose to support RDI with this extraordinary challenge – 32 counties in 24 hours in a 100% electric car – a rare challenge for the rare community. We are thankful to them for raising awareness for people across Ireland living with rare conditions. And of course, the important role for e-vehicles in the battle against climate change.”  

Jessica Higgins, Group Marketing Manager, Connolly Motor Group “We were excited to support the guys with this challenge – 32 counties in 24 hours is no mean feat. We were very confident that they would reach the target. Electric vehicles are the future – their range is growing and with the expanding infrastructure across Ireland the guys were never short of fuel.”

Peter talked about the challenge before he left on the Today FM – Dermot and Dave Show here: starts at 02:09:56 – https://www.todayfm.com/podcasts/dermot-dave/dermot-daves-best-of-podcast-10-09

Ends – For more information please contact Rare Diseases Ireland vicky.mcgrath@rdi.ie or +353 87 933 4829. 

About Rare Diseases Ireland

Rare Diseases Ireland (RDI) is the national alliance for voluntary groups representing people affected by or at risk of developing a rare disease. RDI represents the estimated 300,000 people living with rare conditions in Ireland. Our vision is Equity for all people living with a rare disease – equitable access to diagnosis, treatment, health and social care, and opportunity. We work by advocating for, empowering and engaging people living with rare conditions, their carers and their families.

Key rare disease statistics in Ireland

  • There are an estimated 300,000 people living with rare diseases in Ireland.
  • 72% of rare diseases are genetic in origin. A rare disease does not just impact the affected individual. A rare disease has implications for everyone in the immediate family unit and the wider family too; grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins.
  • 70% of rare diseases are exclusively paediatric onset.
  • At least 4% of children in Ireland are diagnosed with a rare disease, a life-long condition, by age 17.
  • Approximately 2/3 of paediatric deaths in Ireland are associated with rare diseases.

About Connolly Motor Group

Connolly Motor Group is a family-run company established in 1939. As a third generation motor group it is grounded in tradition and the family’s passion for cars, while operating a very modern business focused on the transition from traditional to electric vehicles. 

Peter_Trys 32 Counties – links:

iDonate page: https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11414493_peter-bracken-s-page.html

Drive4Rare info on RDI website: https://rdi.ie/rdi-fundraisers/

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/petertrys

Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/petertrys32counties/

*e-vehicle image designed by macrovector / Freepik*

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