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Dundalk man Eric Beggs to be honoured for charitable work this Friday

Dundalk man Eric Beggs to be honoured for charitable work this Friday

Dundalk man Eric Beggs is set to be honoured for his incredible work on behalf of Irish charity Fighting Blindness at an event in Dublin on Friday.

Eric is one of four Louth volunteers on the shortlist for the annual Volunteer Ireland Awards. It also includes Orla Brannigan for her dedication to Comhaltas; Aaron Duffy for his dedication to Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann; and Eddie Phelan for his dedication to the local community including the Boyneside Trail.

Eric was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in his 40s and has no eyesight left as a result.

His friend Peter, who is sadly now deceased, introduced Eric to Fighting Blindness and fundraising.

Since then, Eric has completed treks, tandem cycles, Easter egg hunts, church gate collections and more to raise money for the charity.

He has organised events every single year for the past 15 years, spending his personal time tirelessly fundraising and raising awareness.

He began fundraising primarily through church gate collections and taking part in sponsored walks. However, in 2014 he decided to take his fundraising one step further and started the annual Cooley Mountain Trek.

Eric organised the whole event with the help of his family and secured lots of local sponsors, refreshments for participants, post-event entertainment and lots of coverage in local media.

The inaugural event raised €7,217 and Eric went on to run six more Cooley Treks before his last one in August. The final 2019 Cooley Mountain Trek raised €10,500!

To date Eric has raised €150,000 for Fighting Blindness through fundraising activities.

The awards take place on Friday in the Carlton Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin.