Tullamore's Peter Bracken is taking on a charity challenge in aid of Rare Diseases Ireland this coming weekend.

Ex-rugby player from Offaly to tackle 32-county charity challenge

A former professional rugby player from Tullamore is planning to set off on a 32-county challenge in aid of the Rare Diseases Ireland charity this weekend.

Peter Bracken, who played for Tullamore RFC, Connacht, Wasps and Ireland A, will be joined by his friend and fellow ex-Connacht player Mikey Smyth as they attempt to drive through the 32 counties of Ireland, inside 24 hours, in a 100% electric car.

Speaking on The Dermot and Dave Show on Today FM last Friday, Peter explained why he wanted to fundraise for Rare Diseases Ireland.

"My ex-wife Rachel has Addison's Disease and lives with that on a daily basis," he said.

"There's only about 30 people in the whole of Ireland who have it. It's an auto-immune disease, so pretty much the hormones shut down and without daily medication you can die, but with it you can live a full life."

Peter and Mikey will be driving the highways and byways of the island in an electric car donated by donated by Connolly Motor Group, of Ballina, Galway, Letterkenny and Sligo.

They will be starting their adventure from Connolly Motors in Ballina at 2pm this Saturday, September 18, and finishing around noon the following day at Connolly Motors in Ballybrit, Galway, after driving clockwise through all 32 counties.

The two men will be singing songs in every county along the way and will be live-streaming their journey on Facebook and Instagram.

"Our intention is to catch up with old friends, have some craic, raise some money and prove that electric cars are a brilliant option in Ireland," said Peter.

The pair have chosen Rare Diseases Ireland as the beneficiary of their fundraising efforts in recognition of all the awareness, advocacy and support it offer to people living with rare conditions and their families.

If you would like to support the fundraiser you can do so on their iDonate Page here.

Vicky McGrath, CEO of Rare Diseases Ireland said: "We are delighted that Peter and Mikey have chosen 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.

"We wish them the very best of luck in their endeavours," she said.