Gaelforce West

When: Saturday, August 20, 2016

Where: Mayo/ Connemara

Join Team Amnesty at Gaelforce West, Ireland’s original and largest adventure race, now in its 11th year.  Beginning on a crescent-shaped white sand beach in the dawn light, you will make your way through 67km of the most demanding and magnificent areas of Connemara and Mayo running, walking, kayaking and cycling.

We invite you to join Team Amnesty at Gaelforce West and help us raise vital funds for our People on the Move campaign, to protect the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Join Team Amnesty

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Gaelforce West FAQ

Am I fit enough for Gaelforce West?

If you are going from couch to Gaelforce West, you need to start training early in the year. There are no hard and fast rules as every person is different, but this is a hard physical challenge and you need to prepare properly. When you join Team Amnesty, we will send you a training plan and we are on hand to offer you tips and encouragement along the way!

Can I enter a team into Gaelforce West?

No, but you can train and fundraise as a team. Let your friends and family members know you are taking part in the event and see if they are willing to join you.

How will I raise funds for Amnesty?

We will support you with your fundraising and help you reach whatever target you set for yourself! Last year, members of Team Amnesty raised on average €600 simply by asking their friends, family members and colleagues to support them. Every little bit of support helps and every €10 donation from a well-wisher adds up! Our team members were amazed at the generosity shown, especially in the week coming up to the challenge. Here at Amnesty, we will be on hand with fundraising tips and support throughout the year. We will set you up with an online fundraising page which makes it easy to fundraise in a safe manner online and a sponsorship card for those who need it!

How much does it cost to register for Gaelforce West?

Registration costs €85 until August 12 and €95 from this date until the day of the race. You can find out more about registration on the Gaelforce West website.

Where does your money go?

As an organisation we work on your behalf to make sure that your money is spent in the best way possible. We rely on your support as we remain politically and financially independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. Here are just a few things that we have done with our supporters funds.

 In Ireland:

  • Lobbying the Irish Government where it is not meeting its human rights obligations. For over a decade, we have campaigned for a fair legal process that protects asylum seekers’ human rights.
  • Engaging with the Irish political system to advance better human rights protection on a range of domestic human rights issues such as violence against women.
  • Highlighting human rights violations in Ireland on international platforms such as informing the UN Human Rights Committee and UN Committee Against Torture’s on how Ireland has dealt with past human rights abuses such as the current ‘mother and baby homes’ issue.

 Internationally:

  • Responding to crises such as the 2014 violence in Gaza and Iraq by drawing international attention to war crimes.
  • Championing the release of prisoners of conscience, political dissenters and those in prison without due process e.g. campaigning for the release of Chelsea Manning.
  • Carrying out extensive research in areas experiencing human rights violations, such as arbitrary detention in eastern Ukraine.

I have a question that wasn’t covered above.

Get in touch! Please call (01) 863 8300 or email teamamnesty@amnesty.ie for further information.

Student Cycle

Four remarkable Irish students are cycling through Europe this summer to raise awareness and funds for Amnesty’s work on the refugee and migrant crisis.

Michael, Adam, Fionn and David of Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology set off on a 3,300km journey at the beginning of June. Cycling from Finland to Greece, the students are discovering what it feels like to cross borders and how their experience differs from the experiences of migrants and refugees.

“Before this trip, I had never crossed over a land border before,” explained Fionn. “Having done so now with ease, and without any identification check, has made me think more of the difficulties refugees face crossing borders.”

The cyclists are visiting Amnesty International offices along their route and meeting with fellow human rights activists. So far they have marched with LGBT Amnesty activists at Pride in Warsaw, and shared an interesting conversation with a retired schoolteacher turned Amnesty volunteer in Krakow about the Soviet Union.

As they travel through 10 countries, talking to local people about human rights issues is proving far more educational than their text books: “Google is great, but being able to ask questions face to face is 100 times better,” says Adam.

“Even if you ask a question and someone says nothing, it’s saying something. Our lecturers aren’t wrong, it’s always better to talk to people directly involved in the work you are discussing. I have learn more in the last few weeks about LGBTI* rights, that I have in the last few years.”

The physical toil of cycling such a distance is proving quite the challenge and we hope you joining us in cheering on the team as they continue their journey to Athens.