. Camino Cycle 2006 . Cockle shell

Team page


The participants are all involved with Phoenix cycling club in Belfast. They have a variety of interests and many have participated in similar events in the past.

They are raising funds for the Friends of the Cancer Centre, which is the local charity supporting the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital.


The participants

Barney Hughes  
Barney's picture

First mooted the idea of this expedition. Retired teacher (an almost seamless transition) who speaks Spanish, knows Spain and has a keen interest in history. He developed the route and provided detailed route information

He has been in Phoenix Cycling Club since the early Neolithic period, or before. Captain on the road and is co-driving the van from Belfast


Larry Sheeran


Native of Carrickmore and a renowned guitar player and gentleman (A gentleman is someone who knows how to play a guitar, but doesn’t). Retired civil servant who has been promoted to casual parcelforce driver.

No real cycling pedigree but is a veteran of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway Run. Co-driver with Barney through France and raconteur of note.


Jimmy Higgins


Managing director of Signlight ( Ireland). Member of Phoenix for 40 years and former Northern Ireland cycling International. Raced against Sean Kelly in Kelly’s very early days. After that Kelly had to slink off to France.

Has an amazing and wide ranging vocabulary. Officially driver of the support vehicle and mechanic to the stars, but is expected to cycle a few hundred miles.


Seamus McAleer


Known in the papers as a "Top Cancer Doc" but is really just a jobbing Oncologist. One of the prime movers of this project. Veteran of four other fundraising martathon cycles for Friends.

When he saw the true profile of the mountains he tried to get out by getting concussion and a broken thumb. Now relegated to walking 10 miles a day and washing the kit (see prologue page)


Frankie Logue


Only learned to ride the bike when he was 18 and it shows. Former potholer diver and caver and runs a hyperbaric chamber which he insists he does not use for training (and judging by his performance this is likely true). Retired now and cycling more than ever.

Renowned for his aggressive cycling and knows he will be sent home if he doesn't behave on the bike.


Turlough Montague


A barrister and QC, originally from Tyrone, who is still just clinging to his forties. His first bike was East German in origin and he found watching rust happen before his eyes to be alarming.

Very long and thin so should be like a mountain goat, especially on his new superbike.


Suzie Hanna


Back to cycling after a long rest, but showing considerable promise. Tore round the Bordertrek this year and famously did the maracycle 10 years ago with no training.

Works as a General Practitioner and has been put in charge of placebos, sticking plasters and sick notes


Gerry Hanna


Gentle and soft spoken native of Newcastle. Is an Oncologist and interesting despite this. Training for this trip included the Bordertrek, going round lough Neagh and talking about cycling to work.

Accomplished piano player with a special interest in Oirish traditional songs.



Oonagh McKeogh


Teaches religion at Rathmore Grammar School and is official chaplain to the run. Expected to have some challenges in this regard. Member of Billy Smyth’s "Desperate Housewives" group in Phoenix Cycling Club.

Fanatical believer in coffee stops.


Stephen McKeogh


Credit Manager in Bank of Ireland. Knows the value of everyone else's pound and has been appointed in charge of the evening kitty for the trip.

Known to cheat on the Bordertrek but his wife will keep him right.


Paul Nolan


Keen cyclist who trains on a bike that is heavier than Jimmy Higgins car. However he has upgraded his bike from a penny farthing to a Bianchi for this trip.

Solicitor specialising in Spanish property. Nevertheless will take on any compensation claims on a no-win anyway basis for his fellow cyclists


Suzanne Nolan


Mother of five sons and still finds time to cycle. Started out with a baby seat in 1994. Graduated to Billy’s Desperate Housewives. Avid fan of County Mayo and will be crying after their dismal performance in the All-Ireland Gaelic Football final this year

Barrister by trade and is researching bail terms in Spain.


Mairead Stewart



A native of Donegal, and yet another cycling novice. Is an expert on the turbo and has a track record in marathons.

Works as a research nurse and and is an avid publicity seeker, rivalling even Seamus McAleer.



David Stewart



Consultant Oncologist who is a former world medical student pentathalon champion. A true Derry hard man who has done an ironman. He has trained in the Pyrenees this year and practised carrying drinks to Seamus McAleer on the Hautacam.

Knows his onions on bicycles, but is a bit careless in looking after his 7 bikes. A devil on the descents.




Phoenix Cycling Club

The Phoenix Cycling Club is one of the oldest cycling Clubs in Belfast. There are over 100 members ranging from elite professional cyclists such as David McCann to ordinary recreational club cyclists.

New members are always welcome. The club runs go from House of Sport in Upper Malone Belfast at 9.30am on Saturday and Sunday.

The best group for possible new members is the Saturday run where several different groups of cyclists will cope with most levels of ability. Turn up and try it!

Phoenix gave a donation of £300 to this run and their website is www.phoenixcc.net