Meet Eoghan from Bruff, Limerick.
At the age of eight Eoghan, and one of his friends, were no longer allowed to travel on the school bus. Eoghan can't even remember what they did but with both his parents working early it resulted in him cycling a 10 mile round trip to school every day. Eoghan started to cycle everywhere. He was an avid sports player and enjoyed playing Rugby with Bruff. So when at the age of 14 he remembers not being able to keep up with his mother as they walked through town, he knew there was something not right.
Eoghan was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, a hereditary disease which causes the progressive loss of muscle tissue and touch sensation across various parts of the body. In Eoghan's case it currently affects his lower legs and his hands. Despite early prognosis there was nothing Eoghan could do to stop the deterioration of his muscle tissue, so he carried on life as normal. Thankfully this involved being very active in sport and by his early 20's he took up competitive cycling. His level of fitness and strength in the upper section of his legs meant Eoghan can still walk, he normally needs aids to help, and he is self-described as 'clumsy'. This all changes however when he is out on his bike.
Eoghan has competed in able bodied cycling since he started competitive cycling and he is always able to complete with the top cyclists. Ironically it was his work as a civil engineer rather than cycling that introduced him to the world of Para-cycling. He was approached by Mark Rohan and Neill Delahave who asked him to help design a more efficient hand cycle road bike. While collaborating with the paracycle team Eoghan discovered he was eligible to compete. In 2014 he was called, with two weeks notice, to compete for Ireland in his first competition; he won both his races. These weren't any old races but the Road World Championships! The trend continued and Eoghan took home Gold again in 2015 as well as a Gold and two Bronze in the World Track Championships. His most recent achievement was winning Gold and Bronze at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Paralympics!
Eoghan is now an ambassador for Enable Ireland, for more information on the work it does please click here.