After his own bike was stolen, Belfast-based Fr Martin Magill has taken the opportunity to ask the public to donate their unwanted bikes to immigrants and refugees.
Initially taking to Twitter, Fr Magill was of a mind to get his bike back, posting: “Wee favour please – my red bike was stolen from Wellington Place in Belfast on Friday pm. Wondering if any of my Twitter friends have a photo of me and my bike they might have taken at some point which I would circulate in the hope of getting it back.”
His post received support both far and wide, with people offering their own bikes for his use. However, he decided instead to turn the unfortunate occurrence to the advantage of others.
First suggesting people offer their unwanted bikes to a not-for-profit co-op in North Belfast, he also went on to suggest people offer their spare bikes to refugees and immigrants.
Speaking to belfastmedia.com, he explained, “At the time when my bike was stolen, I had so many different offers. Someone already had given me a relatively new one.”
“I was talking about it on the radio because so much good had come out of it. A listener suggested donating bikes to refugees and immigrants.”
His suggestion was eagerly received by at least one young man: Pearse Cordner-Reilly. He took Fr Magill up on his idea.
“This young lad, Pearse Cordner-Reilly came down and donated his last night. It will go to a 11-year-old Syrian child.”
Fr Magill is thoroughly heartened by the course of events.
“I thought it was a great idea…it’s all about good things coming from ill.”
Fr Magill again took to Twitter to credit and thank the originator of the donation idea.