Ride out for Prems
Due to the popularity of the Ride out for Prems event. We have set up its own website www.rideoutforprems.com. To keep track of all details please visit the new website.

Road Warriors Ride out for Prems- 2012 Challenge

We are looking for 40 riders to come with us in April 2012. We will tour the NICU's/SCBU's and make drops of equipment you have helped fundraise for. You will get to meet parents of premature babies and get to meet some of the staff working in the hospitals. It's an unique way to see directly how your involvement with our charity is making a difference. You can register for this event on our facebook page or on the front of the website. Each rider needs to raise €1,000 to come on this trip or €700 for a papillion passenger. All of the €1,000 will go directly towards buying equipment. Sean and the charity has raised the funding separately for the accommodation and food costs associated with the trips. You will be staying in some lovely hotels and can relax each evening after a long day on the bike.Peugeot Ireland like last year are supporting this event. Peugeot are given us 4 cars and one van to go on the Ride out for Prems. These cars and vans will carry lugguage, a mechanic, 2 first aiders and members of the charity who are going on the trip to support and help the bikers. Irish Premature Babies are delighted to have the wonderful support of Peugeot Ireland again on this really important challenge.

“The Ride out for Prems”

Road Challenge of Ireland 2012.

Every year in Ireland over 4,500 babies are born prematurely. A premature baby is a baby born between 23 and 36 weeks gestation. Many of these babies face an incredibly difficult start when they come into the world. They can spend days, weeks and months in hospital and suffer from numerous medical problems like breathing problems, brain bleeds, heart trouble, bowels infections, cerebral palsy, hernias, fluid accumulation on the brain to name but a few. Some of 4500 babies will go on to lead healthy lives, some of these babies will have long term complications and sadly some of them are just too ill to survive. Irish Premature Babies CHY19532 are the only charity in Ireland that look after the families of premature babies and the only charity that helps to buy life saving equipment for the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units (NICU’s) and Special Care Baby Units (SCBU’s) around the country. We are an unique charity in that all the members work solely on a voluntary basis so all fundraising money goes directly to specific projects and directly to those in need.

What is the “Ride out for Prems” Road Challenge of Ireland all about ?

The purpose of the challenge is to raise funds for life saving equipment for the different baby intensive care units around Ireland. They units need incubators, heart monitors, ventilation and cpap equipment and apnea monitors.

What is involved in the Ride our for prems road challenge ?

Over a period of 4 days in April 2012, you will accompany a group of motorcyclists around Ireland. We have a specific route designed for the road challenge. Each day you will visit a different baby intensive care unit and present the unit with a piece of equipment that you have helped to fundraise for. You will also get to meet the parents whose babies you are helping and the medical staff who look after all these special tiny babies. This is our second year to do this challenge and we had a great success last year and we got great media coverage from the T.V to radio to national papers.

What do you need to do to come on the Ride out for Prems tour 2012 ?

You need to fundraise €1,000 to come on this tour. This will also cover your accommodation in a hotel each night, breakfast and evening dinner and entertainment each night and a welcome home celebration. It’s a unique opportunity for people to see exactly where their fundraising efforts will go. The charity will help or advise you on how to fundraise if you need any assistance. We are also set up on mycharity so you can set up your own page. But we can help with all of that.

If you would like to learn a little more about our charity or would like more information, please visit the following and use the contact details below.

Our website : www.irishprematurebabies.com
Our facebook pg: irish premature babies
Twitter: irish prems
You Tube: Irish prem babies
Helpline: 8880882
Email: irishprematurebabies@gmail.com

Details of some of the Press Releases issued by Peugeot in relation to the Ride out for Prems 2012.
















Rev up for Prems 2011



“Text “Prem” to 57802. Texts cost €2.00; a minimum of €1.65 will go to Irish Premature Babies. Standard Network charges may apply. CHY Number 19532. Helpline Irish Premature Babies 0818 217100 .”


"Rev up for Prems"- Road Challenge around Ireland in aid of incubators. monitors or equipment for the NICU's/ SCBU's.

Irish Premature Babies have already started fundraising for the Coombe, Rotunda and Holles Street Hospital. When they have their items, we will then look to 3 more hospitals and keep going until we have raised one for every NICU/SCBU around Ireland.

Please support this really worthy cause. All you have to do is text us €2.00. Each text will make a difference.

Sean Brennan is going to travel around Ireland in 4 days for raise funds for Irish Premature Babies - the money raised will be given directly to our NICU/SCBU fund. Sean is a keen motorcylist and owner of a harley Davidson will undertake this challenge on the 19th of April 2011. Going with Sean will be a support car with 3 members of the organisation- Grace, Irene & Sarah. We hope that each day Sean will arrive at a different NICU/SCBU and meet some parents/hospital staff. Each day, Sean will also do media interviews to tell the public what the event is about and why he wants to raise money for our little prems. Each night he has to seek accommodation and its up to the general public to find him somewhere to stay otherwise he will be sleeping under the stars. We will have a text line set up and we will be asking people to text us and the money used to texted us will form our fundraising funds from the event.

With Sean on his travels will be our little Mascot "Hope" - Named by Gracie Rose after a competition

Hope will be going to every NICU/SCBU because she needs the equipment to help her and each NICU/SCBU needs the equipment to help Hope. She will also be available for photographs and cuddles with parents and children.



There are over 150 photographs from the road challenge, click on the link to view them all. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.10150221340148274.346758.246233458273&l=fc9b2cb176
Route for the "Rev up for Prems" Road Challenge 2011

NICU/SCBU Route and times are as follows:

TUESDAY 19/04/11 Depart Rotunda Hospital at 11.00am

Arrive OLOL Drogheda at 11.30am.

Depart OLOL Drogheda at 12.00pm

Arrive Cavan General Hospital SCBU 13.45pm.

Depart Cavan 14.30pm

Arrive Letterkenny for overnight stay.

WEDNESDAY-20/04/11 Arrive Letterkenny General Hospital Scbu 09.30am

Depart Letterkenny 10.15am.

Arrive Castlebar Hospital Scbu 12.45pm

Depart Castlebar 13.30pm.

Arrive Galway University Hospital Nicu 16.00pm

Overnight stay in Galway.

THURSDAY-21/04/11 Depart Galway 09.30am

Arrive Limerick St Munchin's 11.15am SCBU

Depart Limerick 12.30pm

Arrive Cork 14.30pm

Visit Cork NICU 15.00pm

Overnight in Cork

FRIDAY-22/04/11 Depart Cork 09.30am-

Arrive Waterford General Hospital SCBU 12.00pm

Depart Waterford 12.45pm

ETA Coombe Hospital NICU 16.00pm

Three of the members of the Irish Premature Babies are going in a support car on the Rev up for Prems tour. Each day the ladies will record their experience and share it with us. Sean our motorcyclists will also keep a diary and let us know how he is getting on and more importantly he will let us know if he gets somewhere to sleep every night. We will also have photographs and a few video's to share on the page.


Sean- the day before
Got over to RTE in plenty of time for the show. Just as I pulled up on the bike I spotted Catherine Lynch and I asked her to hold my helmet, she looked at me oddly but obliged. In my side bag, I pulled out Hope and all her gear. I think at this time she thought she was on a hidden camera ! I asked her to hold Hope while I took a picture of her. I would love to know what was going through her head but fair play to her, I took the photograph and then explained about the charity and what we were doing.

One of the girls took a pic of me getting some make-up on for the telly, thanks girls-much appreciated, mind you got worse, found it on the facebook page later! Did the interview and hoped it went well and we got the message across. Had a bit of a mix up after the show, I went off two hand bags which I thought we Grace’s, turns out I had run off with Gillian McKeith’s bag and her daughter’s. Had to sneak back into the RTE studio and give back the bags back !

At home now . Tara and Allison came to pick up my luggage for the journey and the cover for the bike. I am looking forward to it and really want to get the message out there about supporting the charity and helping all the babies. Will miss my daughters and the good lady of course, was in the bad books as tomorrow is her birthday and I will be away, so have lots of making up to do when I return.

Grace- the day before

Hey so its 23.15 I have just sat down now after packing and getting the house sorted in advance of my trip. Its my first time to ever be away from my babies. I had one night away last summer but I left at 10pm and came home at 10am so to say I am a bit nervous is an understatment. But its for such an amazing cause so it will all be worth it.
Myself Sean and Keely were out in Rte today doing an interview for Four Live. It went really well and we got the chance to get our mascot Baby Hope in some pictures with some Celebrity Friends. Off to bed now fingers crossed for tomorrow really hope we get a good turnout and that all goes to plan. I will update you all on our stories tomorrow night again Night everyone xxx

Sarah Murphy,

Hi all, So its almost 12 o'clock, just finished packing and finalising bits and pieces for tomorrow. Very apprehensive about leaving the kids tomorrow. First time to leave Lillie for any amount of time since she was born and been even longer since I ve left Ben. Its all for a worthwhile cause though and really looking forward to meeting some Prem parents on our trip. Hopefully, We'll find accommodation for Sean for the couple of nights while we're away. Fingers crossed, Talk to you all tomorrow night. Sarah x

Irene Dowling

oh god its the night before the rev up for prems. all the nerves and anxietes and leaving the kids for so long! probably forgotten something even though the packing is taking forever. have to collect
the fuel card very early in the morning and then be on the road for 9 am with the family. kids cant wait to see all the harleys and radio novas hummer! the rotunda hospital will be bussing tomorrow! alarm is set for 6 so im off to bed now!



hi folks, just to let ye all know how things are going. well so far so good. we are all being well looked after and people have been very good on our journey here. the challenge has been set for the rest of the country! Sean hasnt left us yet so thats a good sign. hello to my caragh gang.


First day on the road, Great send off from Seans house this Morning, Radio Nova came to give us an escort into town. The guys were all lovely and gave us a great send off. Brought the bikes and the Radio Nova Hummers.The kids loved it not to mention the Dads..... Arriving into the Rotunda was Fab. Great banter on the road in , beeping at all the passers by. The Staff in the Rotunda were lovely and we met some great parents and amazing prems while we were there. From There we went to Drogheda. The staff were fab treated us to Scones. Baby Hope got lots of attention and the staff even fixed her up and gave her a new bed !! Then we made our way to Cavan, Before we got there we had an "episode" on the roundabout, we drove around a few times while poor Sean was convinced we were lost. In Cavan we met some more fab families and staff.
We arrived in LetterKenny to stay in our Hotel, we were treated to some Fab food and even a game of bowling, I didn't win..... lol. Going to bed now after a long but very rewarding day. Roll on tomorrow ...... Sarah x


Found it hard sleeping so when the alarm went off at seven I hit snooze by accident. Woke up at about half seven and started panicking that I would be late. Made it into the Rotunda with the support car at about 10.30 done a quick interview with Dublin City Fm en route. Great turnout at the Rotunda. Made it off for Drogheda at about 11.00

Another great turnout at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. The staff and parents were so welcoming. I got the chance to go into the NICU unit to meet a new premmie mum Ciara and her beautiful little girl Molly. Hit the road for Cavan we got stuck behind quite a few tractors so were were a teeny bit late

Another great turnout at Cavan met up with some parents and some of our parents who modelled for us at the fashion show Danielle and Mark. Cavan General were delighted with the mr10 monitor that we donated to the unit. After some pics we hit the road again.

We were lucky to be offered lunch at the Orchard Restaurant in Cavan...Irene got the chance to meet her hubby Donnacha and boys there....but she had to say cheerio all over again to her 3 men ....poor Irene

Had a bit of craic on the trip from Cavan to Letterkenny. Sean was made go around one particular roundabout 3 times dont think he was too happy oops. We stopped into Asda quickly in Omagh Irene was navigating and managed to get us lost in the car park ....Irene!!!!! Sarah was trying to get some shut eye but myself and Irene werent having any of that haha

Arrived in Letterkenny after driving around the town several times and with a bit of help from the Mount Errigal Hotel and Arena 7 restaurant we manaaged to get fed and get a bed.

Were all exhausted now so early night for our start in the morning night everyone roll on tomorrow hopefully Irene wont get us too lost if we need any help guys we will be on the facebook page looking for directions .


Enjoyed the start of the send off, Radio Nova turned up to start us off from the house will all the bikes and the Hummer. All the kids enjoyed the hummer in the Rotunda. It was great to hit the road and meet up with the bikers that brought us into Drogheda. The staff in Drogheda and Cavan were great to chat to and gave us a great reception. It was great to listen to Danielle in Cavan listening to her story really reminded me what this was all about and was so heart warming.
Back on the road it was a blast, the fun started, tractors were all out today, roundabouts were a bit tricky today, zippedy liked going round the roundabouts, and then the car got a mind of its own and wanted to go to Derry all by itself!!!
Until tomorrow when the new adventure starts.............



Well we woke up nice and early have to admit we were all a bit tired after a quick breakfast we hit the road and made our way to Letterkenny General where we met the wonderful staff and some parents. Our fabulous friend Noel Cunningham popped along with us to meet everyone. We had a chance to pop into the unit and see some teeny tiny babies. It brought back a lot of memories for us and really helped us see why were all doing this.
I had a quick interview on Highland radio this morning and I was joined on air by Donegal Mum Peggy. Thanks for all the help Peggy :)) Left Letterkenny and headed for Castlebar what a journey.... kind of began to think we would never get there but even though we were a tad bit late we made it safe and sound. Met more fabulous parents at Castlebar it was so lovely to see everyone. I got a quick chance to have a cuddle with baby Eli, I nearly robbed him off his mum Louise - what a cutie!!!

We got a tad bit lost leaving Castlebar oops we ended up driving around the square a few times before we got it right but soon enough we were on the way and it was Galway here we come. Again traffic was against us and for anyone that seen our video you guys would know what I mean. Got to Galway Nicu in one piece and met all the lovely Galway parents. We had a great time catching up with them all and seeing all the prems. We all went up to the NICU and also got some pics of everyone.

Headed out tonight into Eyre Square and handed out a leaflets trying to get people to text in and donate so fingers crossed. Were hoping to do Sean's hair tomorrow so I will keep you all updated Keep the ideas coming in for us guys!!!! Missing the kids like mad today feels like forever since I have had some hugs but seeing the amazing parents and prems along the way is really helping to keep morale high so bring on the next leg of the trip tomorrow

Till tomorrow night folks

Love Grace xxxx


Have to say strange waking up this morning to no kids. Linda like I was missing a limb!!
Early start this morning up for breakfast before heading straight to Letterkenny General Hospital. We arrived at the hospital around 9:30. We were met by a fab nurse called Kate; she brought us upstairs and introduced us to the staff up there. Some amazing people in the unit, very enthusiastic about their jobs and the longterm future of the babies in their care. Noel Cunningham joined us in the unit and spoke to the staff. Such a gentleman. Had helped us out with food and a place to stay on Tuesday night.
After Letterkenny we made the journey to Mayo General, Bumpy roads. OMG, glad I was in the car not on a bike ! lol sorry Sean. Got to the unit and had the support of lots of parents again and some of the cutest babies (pics on the fb page)
Best turn out of to date has to be handed to Galway, even though we were unbelievably late the families stayed and waited to greet us. Traffic had been mental all day. There were so many families and children we ran out of balloons. The families chipped in and organised for food for us for tonight. Thanks guys, much appreciated!
Long day had by all, traffic EVERYWHERE!!! Worse was traffic in Galway, well would have been worse except we were actually parked on a taxi rank, no traffic on the road........ Another fab day on our “Rev up for Prems” road challenge. Such a pleasure to meet all of the very supportive families and the very brave babies and children who are on the other side of their premature journey.


Hi Folks,

Irene here, Day 2 of the Rev up for Prems challenge finished and boys don't we feel it now.

TYPICAL no children shouting or school runs to make this morning but I was wide awake at 6.30am and no sign of sleep. So off I went to the pool and left the two sleeping beauties for their well deserved rest, the lazy sods!!!
Started of this morning in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal and made it on time to the S.C.B.U. on time which was the only stop we made on time today!!
It was lovely to meet all the staff there where they were so welcoming and introduced us to all their staff. Noel Cunningham came along to help out and brought all his excitement and spontaneity to the morning. The staff work under so much stress, it was great to see their enthusiasm for I.P.B. and Rev. up for Prems. I think that all sides gained great insight in this visit alone and it was a great start to the day. Next stop was Grace doing a radio interview with on of the Prem Mums, a big thank you to Peggy for that,on a Donegal Radio Station.
Onwards with hit the road again for Castlebar getting slightly delayed on the way.
The parents who were waiting very patiently there, were so good to keep the moral up and were great to meet. We also got to meet some staff there for a chat. Being somewhat under pressure we headed off and contrary to popular opinion there was no getting lost while I was driving, my co-navigator couldn't make out the diversions around the town!!!! Signs were bad and all that.
At last we got to Galway unfortunately in peak time traffic with the rain, but the welcome from the parents and children was unbelievable and one of the highlights of the trip so far. There must be something in the Galway air cause all the kids are going to be bikers. More photo ops for the Harley watch out Premmie mums in Galway in a few years time.The guys and girls looked after us well up here today too which after the counties yesterday was a hard act to follow but they did!!!
Im getting slagged at the moment as today in Galway I accidently thought there was some traffic but it was a taxi stop, class i know but there you go!!!! I'm such a careful driver, anybody that knows me or my driving will tell you....Ha Ha.

Big shout out to my guys, missing ye loads and love ya all. Hugs and kisses. Irene.


I had a fantastic day today chatting to the various parents and meeting all the small prems. Touched by the stories I heard and shed a few tears thinking about them I am not afraid to say.

Loved the trip from Letterkenny to Mayo on the bike what a road!!! Beautiful scenery on the way and winding roads so great for a biker. Started panicking about food but some great Galway parents came to my rescue and gave me a lovely card and money for food. Thanks so so much!!!!

Irene got stuck in a traffic jam tonight poor girl didnt realise it was a taxi rank

Not all Taxi men are bad the Galway taxi man that took us to Eyre Square Michael Finn gave us a free trip into town to hand out leaflets. So all you Galway Women give him a shout!!!

Wasnt liking the rain en route guys can you guys maybe arrange for some good weather tomorrow guys ........PLEASE!!!

The girls still havent touched my hair yet but I am getting nervous there was even talk of waxing this morning to say I am running scared is putting it mildly

Anyhow till tomorrow ...... Sean


Irene’s blog.
Hi folks, its Thursday and the third day of our trip already, we woke up to blue skies so now we know why the rest of ye have been texting and putting up photos of the beach on the East Coast.

Mindful of the time constraints and our delays yesterday we made a conscious effort to be on time today, but it became clear that this was not going to happen, of course nothing to do with us!!!!!

And on that note can I just say BIG THANKS TO Mandy our in car GPS who patiently got us places through speaker phone throughout the afternoon.

Sarah worked in her office today again, where we really need a cleaner at this stage!! My self and Grace took turns driving which was just as while as Sarah forgot where she was most of the time!!

Our first stop was Limerick where the staff were very forthcoming and discussed their concerns and their expectations for the unit. It was once again delightful to hear staff views and to be in a progressive and dynamic unit where the staff like so many others have to deal with out dated equipment and desperately need help. Photo op for Baby Hope with the staff in the unit and it was time to head back on the road again.

Time for Cork, where the hospital is a hugh building and we eventually found the entrance. It was here that we met Sean his wife Irene and their beautiful son James. Sean has helped out IPB immensely so it was brilliant to meet the family. We then went down to meet the nurses in the unit where the difference in the environment and surroundings being a new building was very evident. Spacious, bright unit but busy as it’s a transfer centre but it’s nice to see that things can be done in this health service. We talked to some staff where they also welcomed any help and progression and support with open arms.

Today as Premmie Mums I think we all found things a little difficult at times when in the units with the babies, bringing memories flooding back for all of us.

Eventually got to the hotel once we dropped off Sean at his very plush pad (the suit case was in the boot) it was down time eventually. Pamela Anderson was in the Jacuzzi so we all had to get out!!!

I’m still wrecked and I’m heading off now and maybe a few bevies may help- it’s worth a try anyways.

I’m off now so hopefully we will see some of you guys tomorrow at the Coombe. Looking forward to seeing you all.


Hi everyone well what a day we had the weather was just amazing. Had a good breakfast and hit the road from Galway and headed to Limerick.
Great journey had a laugh with the girls in the car. Sean was enjoying the fab weather en route. We got to Limerick and done an interview with the Limerick Leader Newspaper. They got some nice pictures of Sean and the bike. We were met by the staff in Limerick and they had a great chat with us telling us all about the unit. We didnt get to meet any parents which was a pity but it was great to see exactly what the unit needed. Limerick are trying to fundraise for a new ventilator it really brought back home that the units so badly need our support.

We had a quick coffee stop in Limerick and then hit the road for Cork. Irene had done the first half of the drive so it was my turn now. Had an easy trip but typical the second I get behind the wheel we meet the traffic. Got into Cork and by total mistake I took the girls and Sean to the wrong hospital. There goes my theory for following H signs on the road. We finally made it to Cork and we met our wonderful Irish Premature Babies accountant Sean Norris. Sean very kindly has helped IPB to gain our charity number so it was fantastic to be able to say a thank you in person to him.We would have loved if some more parents could have made it down to see us but meeting Sean Norris and his wife and fantastic little boy made our day

We went into the NICU to meet some staff and I have to say the cork unit is really wonderful, the staff made us feel very welcome and Baby Hope even got to try out one of their beds!!!

We finished off the day then and decided to have a little bit of down time for ourselves so after getting Sean safely to his hotel we headed onto ours. We hit the pool and jacuzzi and took a well deserved break. The girls had a great laugh at me falling into the jacuzzi luckily no one else was there so I think I got away lightly.

We headed into town tonight and had a nice walk around,we started plotting to put a few just married signs on Seans bike on the QT but then quickly thought we may be killed if we did so plan was averted..... The purple hair paint is being purchased in the morning we thought it might be nice for you guys to see him coming home with it so watch this space....
Anyhow night folks were off for some ZZZZZ's cant wait to see my babies tomorrow miss them too much xxxxx


Hard to believe we’re at day three seems surreal. Could not wake u this morning just wrecked, had a lot of travelling over the last two days so I guess it’s understandable. After breakfast we headed straight to Limerick. We had a bit of a time trying to find the hospital but eventually we got there. Had an interview with the Limerick leader and they took some fab photos. The unit and staff were great, they took time out to talk to us and told us all about the unit. Again very dedicated staff in the unit.
From Limerick we went to Cork. Took us a while to get there. No parking in Taxi ranks today but we did get lost!! Ended up in completely the wrong hospital after asking for directions I might add.... we were sent the wrong way. Eventually got to the hospital... OMG it is huge. We were at the wrong entrance and unfortunately missed the reported who was due to interview us, on a brighter note we did meet some parents. Went into the unit which is amazing, very modern and bright and airy. The Nurse there brought us into the NICU admissions area. Was a real eye opener especially to Sean who hadn’t seen the inside and saw some of the tiny babies? A reminder why we work so passionately with the charity.
Had a little down time this afternoon went for a swim and Jacuzzi, Those of us why didn’t fall into the Jacuzzi that is (ahem Grace). Then went for food... Very tired today and looking forward to getting home and seeing the kids. Should be a good greeting in the Coombe tomorrow . Might see some of you guys tomorrow.
Night all, Sarah x



Getting up this morning was surreal, couldn’t believe we had come to the end of the tour. To be honest feels like so long ago were at the Rotunda starting off. We were a little tired this morning and found it harder to get up. Left Cork around 10 and headed to Waterford, Where one of the members of the charity had a yummy Lunch waiting for us (thanks Mandy). Then we headed straight to Waterford Maternity hospital. Unfortunately they were too busy to come and meet us. Was a shame as it was the penultimate stop on our journey. We got some pictures outside the hospital though. We left here and headed home.
En route, we stopped in New Ross to fulfil Seans Challenge. On the street Sean had a “beauty treatment”.. He allowed us to spray his hair pink. Albeit he was taken by surprise but he was a good sport about it.
Heading home we picked up two groups of bikers. Who kindly escorted Sean and ourselves to the Coombe. By this stage , We in the car were getting very giddy. We were very excited about seeing our families and other members of IPB and of course the parents who came to meet us. We got a great reception when arrived, Hugs and kisses all round.!! The staff from the unit came down to say hi and we got some great photos of the group.
Great to be home in my own bed tonight but what an experience we’ve had. Getting on the road to meet the parents, and see the units and staff around the country who cared for our precious babies. Hard to believe it’s all over now. Thanks so much for all the support it was much appreciated by everyone. Hope you enjoyed our updates as much as we enjoyed posting them. Hope to see you all again soon, Sarah.


Morning everyone well today is our last day and only a few hours now till I get to see my babies!!!!! We were all really tired this morning getting up I think all the days on the road were finally starting to take their toll on us. After getting the car packed up and ready we headed to Seans Hotel where he had been very kindly put up and collected his suitcase and hit the road. I was doing the first half of the driving today so the girls were busy trying to create some awareness of the road challenge while we were en route to Waterford.

We stopped at Mandy's house in Waterford for a bite to eat thanks Mandy it was just gorgeous!!! Unfortunately our timing wasnt great for Waterford Regional and they were too busy in the unit to come to say hi to us but the small babies in the unit needed them more than us so we totally understood.

After leaving Waterford we had a quick stop off in New Ross Irene and Sarah ran in to get some pink hair spray for Sean...the poor guy ended up getting his hair done right in the middle of the street but he was a good sport and we hope he managed to get a few more texts in for letting us do it to him....I dont think the people in New Ross knew what on earth was going on!!!

We then headed for the Beehive Pub where we collected prem dad Bob and his friend and then headed for Rathnew to collect the rest of the bikers who were joining us on our trip to the Coombe

Irene took over the driving for the least leg of the trip and I have to say the whole lot of us in the car were just bursting with excitement. Home was now just so close away!!!
We arrived to the Coombe where we got such a warm welcome thank you to everyone who turned up it really finished off the trip in fantastic style. It was great seeing all our kids and all our other friends and families from the organisation whom we missed so much.
We got to meet some staff from the NICU and we got some lovely photos also.

The trip was simply amazing it was very surreal visiting all the different units and seeing how each one differed. My highlight of the trip has to be getting the chance to finally meet so many of the parents who I have come to know from the facebook and forum pages. We truly felt so welcome at every stop we took so thank you to each and every one of you for making us feel so welcome. We also met the wonderful staff from all the units who spend every day fighting for our precious miralces and it was an honour to be able to thank them in person and discuss how we can help make their units better.

I have to thank Sean for doing this also I know it musnt have been easy for him being stuck with us three women getting him lost daily,going around roundabouts several times and of course who can forget the pink hair but thank you for everything you have done for Irish Premature Babies

I am off now to spend some catch up time with my two little ones I hope you have enjoyed reading our daily blogs thanks so much to everyone who supported us from the parents,hospital staff and everyone who helped us with somewhere to stay and eat along the way we are truly grateful

Big shout out also to Base Camp for all the help with media and directions and general pep talks along the route we would have been lost without you

Love Grace xxx

Without the support of the following people, we would have been able to do the Rev up tour 2011.

When you put together a fundraising event there are so many people who kindly support you and without them you would be lost. Each day I will be filling this section in as the road challenge heads around Ireland.

-First person we need to thank is Sean Brennan, who has kindly offered to undertake this challenge for our charity. There would be no tour without him.

-The team in Irish Premature Babies who meet every week to plan this event- Sarah, Irene, Tara, Grace, Ger, Sean and Allison. The 3 mums who will be parted from their children for the very first time since leaving the NICUs. We greatly appreciate your commitment and effort Sarah, Irene and Grace and to the daddies at home for the first time, we wish you luck.

-We want to thank Peugeot Ireland for lending us our support car, we are truly very grateful for this very kind gesture. http://www.peugeot.ie/

-We want to thank Snickers for giving us our " Rev up for Prems" T-shirts, they are wonderful. http://www.snickers.se/Snickers/market/

-We want to thank Sony in the pavilions in Swords for giving us a video recorder so we can catch the event. http://www.sony.ie/section/home

-We want to thank the 98fm road crew for coming to the start of the launch and for the tickets. http://98fm.com/

-We want to thank the fabulous staff and bikers from radio nova, we had a great send off and to Pat Courtney for the air time. http://www.nova.ie/

-We want to thank RTE four live for having us on their show. http://www.rte.ie/tv/fourlive/

-We want to thank Applegreen and Ambrose Murphy in particular for giving us the petrol card for the whole of the Rev up for Prems challenge. http://applegreen.ie/

-We want to thank The Orchard Pub, Cavan Town and Gerry- for the lovely free lunch for 4.

-We want to thank The Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny. http://www.mounterrigal.com/

-We want to thank Arena 7 for dinner on Tuesday Night. http://www.arena7.ie/

-We want to say a big thank to the wonderful Noel Cunningham for arranging both The Mount Errigal and Arena 7

-We want to thank Menlow Park, Galway for the lovely free accomodation and to Marcella for arranging it. http://www.menloparkhotel.com/

-We want to thank Maldron Hotel, Cork who gave us a reduced rate for accomodation. http://www.maldronhotels.com/hotel-cork/

-We want to thank The Mountenotte Hotel, Cork for Sean's accomodation. http://www.themontenottehotel.com/

Route for Ride out

ROAD WARRIORS – RIDE OUT FOR PREMS Thursday 26th – Sunday 29th April

Route (including the stop at the units and the night stop over’s)

Day 1: Thursday 26th

Dublin dept. 9.00am Drogheda: Our Lady of Lourdes Hosp.- arr. 10am & dept. 11am

Cavan: Cavan General Hospital - arr. 1pm & dept. 3.00pm

Letterkenny Radisson Hotel – arr. 6.00pm

Day 2: Friday 27th

Donegal dept. 8.30am Letterkenny General Hosp. – arr. 9.00am & dept. 10.am

Sligo General Hospital – arr. 12md & dept. 1.00pm

Castlebar: Mayo General Hospital – arr. 3.00pm & dept. 5.00pm

Galway Radisson Hotel – arr. 7.00pm

Day 3: Saturday 28th

Galway dept. 8.30am UCH Galway – arr. 9.00am & dept. 10.00am

Tarbet Ferry – arr. 1.00pm & dept. 1.30/2.00pm

Tralee: Kerry General Hospital - arr. 3.00pm & dept. 4.00pm

Limerick Radisson – arr. 7.00pm

Day 4: Sunday 29th

Limerick dept. 9.00 Limerick: St. Munchin’s Unit – arr. 9.00am & dept. 10.00am

Portlaoise General Hospital arr. 1.00pm & dept. 2.00pm

Dublin - arr. 3.00-3.30pm

Times are approx. and are subject to change.

Day 1 Thursday the 26th of April 2012
Start from Dublin to Drogheda- Stop at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital

Drogheda to Cavan –Stop at Cavan General Hospital

Cavan to Letterkenny

Finish day one at Letterkenny and staying in the Radisson Hotel

Day 2 Friday the 27th of April 2012

Start from Letterkenny to Letterkenny General Hospital

Letterkenny to Sligo –Stop at Sligo General Hospital

Sligo to Castlerbar-stop at Mayo General Hospital

Mayo to Galway

Finish day two in Galway and staying in the Radisson Hotel

Day 3 Saturday the 28th of April 2012

Start from Galway to Galway University Hospital

Galway to the Tarbet Ferry to Kerry

Kerry to Kerry General Hospital Tralee

Kerry to Limerick

Finish day three in Limerick and staying in the Radisson hotel

Day 4 Sunday the 29th of April 2012

Start from St. Munchins Unit , Limerick

Limerick to Portlaoise –Stop at Portlaoise General Hospital

Portlaoise to Dublin.

Finish the Ride out in Dublin.

Day 1: Dublin – Drogheda – Collon- Kingscourt – Bailieborough – Cavan Town – Omagh – Lifford – Letterkenny.
Day 2: Letterkenny – Balybofey – Ballintra – Tullaghan – Cliffony – Grange – Sligo – Tubbercurry – Ballahy – Cuilmore – Turlough – Castlebar – Ballintober – Headford – Cloonboo – Galway.

Day 3: Galway – Across the Tarbet Ferry – Listowel – Tralee – Limerick

Day 4: Limerick - Moneygall - Portlaoise – Dublin.

This are the provisional details of the Challenge, exact details will be posted in the next few weeks and all bikers will get their own copy in the post.

Day One Thursday the 26th of April 2012

-Leave Dublin City

-Head to Louth and Drogheda Hospital OLOL and the SCBU

-Head to Cavan and Cavan Hospital and the SCBU.

-Head to Letterkenny and rest for the evening.

Day Two Friday the 27th of April 2012.

-Leave Letterkenny

-Head to Sligo and Castlebar

-Head to Galway and rest in Galway for the evening.

Day Three Saturday the 28th of April 2012.

-Leave Galway and head to Tralee

-Head to Limerick and rest in Limerick for the evening.

Day Four Sunday the 29th of April 2012- Return Home

-Leave Limerick

-Head to Portlaoise

-Head to Dublin

-Welcome home Party in Dublin for bikers

Irish Premature Babies Guide to Hand Signals and Road Etiquette

1. The first thing you want to do is organize the ride, the leader should inform the group of the destination and the ride. This can be as informal as standing around in a parking lot, or as complicated as a special meeting to hand out maps and cell phone numbers.

2. When creating your riding formation, it's wise to have your experienced riders at the lead and running sweep (bringing up the rear). Consider positioning the less experienced riders immediately behind the leader. This allows the front rider to adjust the pace if necessary.

3. Remember that riding in a group does not mean you surrender any decision making when it comes to your safety. Ride your own ride, and don't go any faster than you feel comfortable going!!

4. While riding, don't fixate on the motorcycle in front of you. Instead, remember your basic training. Look well through the turn to where you want to go. If you want to see what’s going on, look 5 bikes ahead of you.

5. All riders are responsible for making sure their motorcycles are mechanically up to the task. Before you even meet up with the group, make sure you've got plenty of fuel in the tank, and you've taken care of all those maintenance issues. You really don't want to be the reason for stopping the group for something mechanical you could have prevented.

6. When crossing controlled intersections, motorcycles should pair up to reduce the length of time crossing and keep the motorcycles together. This should avoid anyone trying to play "catch up." Each rider is responsible to insure he can make a safe crossing before entering the intersection.

7. Each rider should observe, and constantly be aware of, the motorcycle in front and behind, to be on the alert for any trouble. Trouble can arrive quickly... you'd better be paying attention.

Maintain the following formation for normal group riding. On narrow roads, curvy or mountainous roads, areas where visibility is limited, construction areas, loose surfaces, or when there is an obstacle in the roadway, ride single file.

Adjust your lane position to deal with hazards and invasions of your space cushion. Use at least 2-second spacing when riding single file, such as in twisty sections. Above all, use common sense!! Common courtesy while sharing the road is important!! RIDERS PASSING ON THE RIGHT, WEAVING THROUGH GROUPS OF RIDERS, TAILGATING, OR OTHERWISE RIDING IRRESPONSIBLY, ARE ENDANGERING THE OTHER RIDERS AND ARE NOT WELCOME ON GROUP RIDES!!!

9. On the road, motorcyclists should have at least a 2-second cushion in front and behind them, except when stopping at controlled intersections. Leave enough room per lane so each rider can maneuver side-to-side if need be. Street lanes can be split up into 3 equal sections (this should have been learned at the DMV when obtaining your licience); The left 'tire track' is 1, the oil stained strip is 2, and the right 'tire track' is the 3rd. Always travel in the left or right sections; avoid the Oil strip when possible! ALWAYS RIDE IN A STAGGERED POSITION!!!... Avoid riding side-by-side, it’s extremely dangerous and you’ll have no exit strategy in case of accident or hazard!

10. At intersections where you've come to a stop, tighten the formation to side-by-side to take up less space. As the light turns green, or when traffic opens up, the bike on the left proceeds through first.

11. As turns get sharper, or as visibility decreases, move back to a single file formation. You'll also want to use single file when entering or exiting a highway, at toll booths, or when roads have a rough or questionable surface.

12. You'll need to communicate while on the ride, so make sure everyone knows the signals you'll use. Hand signals are extremely important and should be used on every ride..

13. When passing vehicles, the Ride Leader should maintain passing speed until he has opened up room for the rest of the riders.

14. Passing other members of the group is prohibited. You may not pass another bike unless it has pulled over to the shoulder and indicated an intention to stop. If you do not like the position you are riding in then change it only at a rest stop.

15. Always maintain a safe speed and keep a safe distance between motorcycles. If you feel uncomfortable in keeping the pace of the group (rain, wind, winding roads, steep grades, etc) mention it to the Ride Leader, call for a stop or let the group know you are going to pull over and stop.

16. If, and when, it becomes necessary for one motorcycle to stop, all other motorcycles are to proceed on until they reach the first available safe place to pull over.

17. If you pass another motor vehicle you may not do it in the same lane that vehicle is driving in, even if it has pulled over to the shoulder with the intent of letting you pass. You must be able to pass in the oncoming traffic lane.

18. If riding in a group and you need to stop for a rest or stretch your legs; or if you need a drink, food, or fuel; or if you need to make a comfort stop, let the group know your needs, by signaling. Group riding is not an endurance test.

Short Checklist for Group Riding:

- Arrive early
- Arrive with a full tank of petrol
- Be certain your bike is in safe, reliable operating condition
- Know your mileage/fatigue limit
- Communicate your intentions
- Be prepared for any weather
- Be prepared for an emergency
- Ride your own ride
-Know who you are riding with
- Make sure they ride THEIR own ride
- Hand out maps or route sheets
- Allow as much space for yourself and others as you would riding alone
- Don’t follow any rider closer than the distance that rider is following the vehicle in front of them
- Allow other riders to pass you
- Pass only on the left
- Pass only when you are certain you have enough room
- Respect the space of others

Be safe, Be seen and Enjoy!!

Diary on the Ride out for Prems

Sarah Blog Day 1 April 26th

This morning was just hectic !! Breakfast in M50 Honda, Then to the Coombe to donate an incubator worth €22,000. Was fantastic to see how much our hard work has paid off. Being in a position to donate an incubator was just fantastic. All 30 +bikers, IPB Volunteers as well as some of our sponsors and Staff from the Coombe came to witness the handover It was an incredible feeling to see our hard work paying off.From the coombe our groups split into two. Our group headed to Drogheda where we donated an MR10 monitor. It was great when the staff told us that they were short one and really needed it. Showed we were donating a necessary piece of equipment. I know how vital this small yet expensive piece of equipment is. Lillie used it until her first birthday! One of our sponsors from Peugeot and one our riders got to visit the SCBU, I think it was good for them to see firs thand exactly where their money was going. The girls will have their own blogs so everyone can read it about it.
As we weren’t going to Cavan this time we travelled straight to Letterkenny, wasn’t a bad drive as the weather had started to clear. Although we ‘misplaced’ our group of bikers on more than one occasion. No easy feat to lose 6 noisy men on Harleys but Irene and I succeeded!!
Back in the Radisson , just had a fab dinner and doing some work before going to bed , long day ahead tomorrow and I m wrecked already. Hopefully we may get to meet some parents over the next few days.
Don’t forget text Prem to 57802 €2.00 per text. Help us make a difference !!
Night all,

Sharons BlogsDay one of the Ride Out Prems - a year of planning and hard work and it's finally arrived..!!

I'm known for my over enthusiasm, I'm may also be known to talk a bit much, but my goodness the excitement today was unbelievable. I honestly didn't sleep a wink, checking my phone every half hour through the night ensuring I didn't miss my alarm!!
The day had finally arrived, it was really here. Meeting at the M50 Honda for brekkie, before heading out on the road trip of a life time. The riders have raised so much money, and volunteers have put so much time and effort into the organisation and now it was time to give back to the hospitals.
With the cars, bikes and van fully loaded, we set off in the miserable weather down to the Coombe to donate an incubator - yes, we manged to buy an incubator, still can't believe it. The smiles on the faces of the nurses and staff were enough to make you want to sign up to do it next year. Honest to goodness, I don't think I had enough kleenex in my bag!! It was such a wonderful feeling.
Next stop was Drogheda, a brand new shiny MR10 machine ready to be delivered. Two of our team were able to visit the unit, which was just amazing. They couldn't believe they would get to experience first hand what all the fuss was about.. It was just a fantastic unique experience for them. We then hit Cavan, and donated a hospital grade breast pump - but not until we received our Garda escort into the town, and did a full lap of the main street!! That in itself was super exciting stuff.
Cavan was brilliant - the nurse explained how many beds were in the unit and what happened if and when they couldn't deal with a particular prem baby, of a certain gestation - the riders were fascinated.
From Cavan we cruised up to Letterkenny, taking in lots of sights. I've never had so much fun taking a scenic route to a destination -normally it's the quickest and shortest way possibly but in this case I was lapping it up!!!!
The attention we were drawing with all the cars and the bikes was fantastic. We checked into our hotel, had a lovely meal and chatted about our day over a couple of drinks, whilst one of the guys on the trip took out a guitar and sang a few songs. It was so relaxing and a lovely end to a busy day.
Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings....

Evan’Blog-Day 1 April 26

This morning started off like any other. I got up had breakfast, got on the bike and left the house as usual. Then all madness broke out. Instead of heading to work I made my trip to Honda in Ballymount and met up with the rest of the bikers taking part in Ride Out For Prems. After a quick meet and greet we were off n the road. Our first stop was the Coombe were we met some staff members and presented them with their new incubator. We got to see just how vital this machine was to staff and the parents. After we said our goodbyes we went on the next part of our journey.The road was long and the weather was far from good but we all knew where we were going and what a great cause it was all for. When we reached our next stop at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital we again got a warm reception from all the staff. I spoke with a nurse and parent about a piece of equipment I had helped raise money for. They nurse told me about how all premature babies would need this apparatus from the time they are born and how vital it is to help keep them breathing. The mother of a prem baby told me how this piece of equipment had helped to keep her son alive from when he was born. It was at that stage that riding through the rain, wind and cold became the last thing on my mind. I knew we were all here to do a job and fulfil a commitment to deliver the equipment we had fundraised for to other hospitals.
I’ve gotten to know a lot of new people on this trip so far and I know over the next few days we will all become great friends. I look forward to the next few days and the trip ahead. It has already been an eye opening experience and this will be a weekend I never forget. I will definitely be signing up for the ride out again next year, and I would encourage any other bikers out their to do the same. You will not regret it and it is for a very worthy cause.
Don’t forget text Prem to 57802 €2.00 per text. Help us make a difference !!
Evan Whelan (Biker)
26th April 2012

Leona’s Blog

My name is Leona Mulroney I work as a Health care assistant in SGH, I am based in the labour suite & NICU. I decided to volunteer with the charity as I was very intrigued by the charity IPB & felt like this would be something very worthwhile to get involved in.As a HCA I see the day to day situations that families are faced with. I held a charity leg/chest/lip wax in my local pub to raise much needed funds, I received fantastic support from my friends, family & local community. It was really impressive to see how everybody got behind the charity, there interest was in many cases from their own personal experience as parents, grandparents etc. I am familiar with the types of equipment used in the unit but I had no idea of the high cost of it, for example MR10 costs €1,100! We donated an MR10 to Our Ladies of Lourdes today, where we met the friendly staff who was very thankful for the donation. Il keep it short & sweet as its been a long but very worthwhile day, I got up at 3am and my wonderful dad kindly drove me up to Ballymount Honda showroom. There was a really enthuastic atmosphere around the show room, everybody was very excited to get moving, Its been a great start to our trip, looking forward to going to SGH tomorrow to meet all my own colleagues. Hope the sun shines in the west our bubbly bikers have had their fair share of rain today.Irene’s Blog
It’s the end of the first day and it has been such a long one but one of excitement and exhilaration. We are here in Donegal talking about the day’s events and I think there has been a few surprises so far.
Have to admit that I reluctantly left our house this morning as my little men were sleeping bailing out was not an option at this stage but it was a thought that fleeted past my mind. My nervous soon changed to utter delight when we were able to present the Coombe Hospital the amount of 22,000euro for an incubator. It was great to see all the staff again, especially the people that we still have great gratitude for as they saved our little boys life on more than one occasion - we ended up having a great old chin wag and catch up.
Next off to Drogheda with the bikes. Drogheda is now proving to be an emotional place - they allowed to people onto the unit to experience at first hand what this trip is all about - the little fighters - as it was an mr10 monitor that we gave drogheda we thought it only fair to let these people on the bikes know exactly why this small piece of equipment is so vital for new borns. The questions and emotions evokes from this was amazing and really grounded all of us. While we were in Drogheda some of the other crew went to Cavan where they described quite similar feelings.
We then headed in to Letterkenny via Cavan where it was nice to meet people that I knew.... Thanks to my mum for coming to meet us - think she secretly wanted a spin on a bike but they all were afraid of her!!!
Sarah and myself arrived to Omagh-did a sneaky little trip to Asda -also becoming an annual stop! We then meet up with the bike group again and headed off for Letterkenny -can it be noted at this point we had to wait for them and not the other way around! You know yourselves people that things get distorted as the week goes on so it's on the record now.
In the bar now after the dinner but only because it has wifi of course -thought I was wrecked last night, boy, was I wrong it had nothing on now. Looking around though I'm not the only one that feels like this mind you that could be just my blurry eyes.
The one good thing is everyone that we have meet today have been so lovely and it's been great to get to know them.
I can imagine as the days progress more characters will emerge and more fun will be had. Heading to the west coast tomorrow so can't wait.

Sean’s Blog April 26th

Hard to believe it s year two for “Ride Out”, Woke up this morning and was a little concerned about the weather and a little anxious as to everyone turning up. Had 10 phone calls yesterday from concerned riders, unsure if the trip would go ahead. This was unfounded as all the lads turned up. Soon as I arrived at Honda, all the memories of last year came flooding back, I remembered why I was here. As I walked around talking to all the guys the excitement really began to kick in ! I was worried I would have to be overly enthusiastic to motivate the riders, but once I saw everyone was there and ready to go irrespective of the weather the worry lifted and the banter began. Everybody was eager to get onto the road. The lads were shocked when they realised we had raised enough to put the money to an incubator for the Coombe.When we got to Droghed and donated the MR 10, the lads had some questions. The staff from the hospital explained how important this little piece of equipment was to premature babies. When they were told how expensive it was and realised its vital importance it became a talking point for the day. the lads saw firsthand where there money they had raised was going. The guys who went to Cavan to donate the Breast Pump also understood its vital importance to the babies even though they saw the irony of twenty bikers delivering a breast pump. The lads can’t get over how expensive this life saving equipment is, even though some of it looks tiny. We are with a great group of lads, first day in the guys are seeing the difference they are making and talking about next years run already.
In Letterkenny at the hotel, everyone’s on a high. The talk turning constantly to how much the lads enjoyed the day and how much of an eye opener it was,regardless of the weather. Questions of the night.. What hospitals will be get to visit ? and, Will we get to see inside a NICU or SCBU ? Everyone would like to have that experience.
Trip is progressing well, pulling the heart strings of thirty bikers means we are on the right road. Please keep us in your thoughts, and don’t forget you can help. Text prem to 57802. All 9000 + of you on our facebook page can help.
Sean the Preacher

Arthur’s Blog Day 2 27th April

Visited the unit in Letterkenny today, I was very impressed by it .It is really great set up. The staff are really great but it’s like a whole other world. This unit signals the start of something new for young lives, without this unit and other units like it around the country these babies would be history. It’s the hard work and dedication of the staff which shone through today which helps these little babies make it home.Well done everyone.Regards
Road Captain (blue team)
Siobhan's blog- Day two in the big brother house...

Yesterday, I had an amazing experience!

I wasn't sure what, if anything, could top that! Well...today I had an equally as amazing but definitely the coolest experience ever, because this morning we were treated to a police escort through Letterkenny. (That was after we had the guided tour of the town by Joe who couldnt find the hospital even with sat nav, he has been re-christened now asTom Tom McConville). Anyway the escort was VERY exciting. 30+ bikes all riding in formation with a policeman on a bike holding up the traffic at every junction and roundabout! I haven't seen the like of it since the Queen visited Ireland last summer!! The stopped traffice rose to the challenge and sounded their horns, which in turn set the bikers revving their engines. The noise was incredible. I had been pre warned not to be "plugged in" (listening to my iPod) as I would miss the excitement. For once I was glad that I took somebody's advice. Although even if I had been plugged in I don't think I'd have missed anything. Did I mention that it was VERY exciting!

So, we visited three hospitals today but I didn't get to see any babies. No, instead I got to see the reaction of the big hairy bikers that did get to visit the tiny creatures. It was very funny to see big leather clad bikers being reduced to tears by a visit to helpless tiny tots...

So far on this trip we have passes through 11 counties. I noticed every so often yesterday and today, that Joe would take both hands off the wheel and stretch out his arms out wide. Slightly concerned I asked him were his arms getting stiff? He explained that on the route 66 trip across the US it was traditional to do this when you cross a state line. So he has adapted the tradition for the county borders in Ireland. Not to be outdone and always one to follow tradition (!!) I joined in. So now we do both do it,Titanic-esq !! He tells me that before we go home I have to stand up on the back and do it Leo and Kate esq. Hmmm, there's more chance of me swimming the channel, and I'm a terrible swimmer!!

So what did I learn today?

The bikers bible of hand signals! (I'm still on the gospel according to Joe)

How to greet an oncoming biker - by sticking you leg out as one approaches! (I've been really friendly all day as my knees have been so stiff I have to keep moving them)

Not to undertake a police escort while talking on your iPhone!! (yes somebody did)

So, to Kerry tomorrow, on the Tarbert ferry and hopefully spot some Dolphins!

Posted by Shivs at 10:30 PM

Sharons’ Blog Day Two of the Ride Out for Prems - well worth the effort.

We checked out of Letterkenny, after filling our boots with the fab all you can eat brekkie. We headed up to Letterkenny General where we were met by Kate, the Senior Nurse of the NICU. She was so thrilled to see us all, her excitement was infectious. After a little thank you from her to us, myself and two of the bikers were permitted to have a sneak peak of their small NICU.I thought I was well able for this, considering I'd been in this situation before and had the t-shirt to prove it, however I was very wrong. The smell of the alcohol hand disenfectant and the noises and beeps of the machines brought back such a familiar memory I became overwhelmed and began to cry. The two lads didn't know where to look, however another nurse was so helpful and brought them around the unit explaining what each piece of equipment was for. There were a couple of babies in incubators and a couple in hot cots; they were perfect, but so fragile.
I told Kate we had purchased two chairs for her unit, as per her request, so the mammies and daddies of the babies had somewhere to sit whilst their little ones lay in the incubator. You'd think I'd told her she'd won the lotto - she then started to fill up with tears!! No sooner had I told her about the chairs, a knock came to the NICU door and there stood a DHL man with two boxes, containing the chairs!! Talk about Jim'll fix it.. Perfect timing!!
We left the unit and had a fantastic, exciting and attention drawing, Garda escort around Letterkenny and out towards Sligo, it's was hair raising stuff, I felt famous again!!
We reached Sligo and were welcomed by so many nurses, doctors and families, they's all made such a special effort to come out and see us. We took some fab group photos, and then were brought into the canteen where a feast awaited our hungry bikers. They really looked after us, and they too allowed a couple of our bikers to view the NICU. We handed over the hospital grade breast pump and were on our merry way. Next stop Castlebar, where we delivered 20 stethoscopes to their unit. Unfortunately an emergency within the unit cut our visit short, but the weather was lovely the bikers were geared up for the lovely trip down to Galway.
We cruised in the sun, taking in all the scenery our lovely country had to offer. I was so happy it wasn't raining for the lads, they deserved a break from it and it was much more enjoyable. We'd a lovely meal and a couple of sociables and now I'm about to nod off.. the excitement of tomorrows events is ever closer.
Roll on 7am roll call in the lobby - I'll be the first there!!

Sarah’ Blog Day 2 April 27th

What a day !! After breakfast first stop of the day we headed straight to Letterkenny general . We headed off behind our trusty leader… Said leader brought us he wrong way and our convoy had to turn around and head in the right direction. The guards came to help us out and directed us in the right direction !! When we got to the unit we donated two nursing chairs. We were overwhelmed by the effort the unit put in. They were putting up balloons when we got there (we were a little early). All the staff came out to see and take our picture. They were so appreciative of the all the bikers taking time out of their lives to fundraise for the NICU’s. Our hospital rep for Letterkenny came to visit us with her adorable little boy Jack. Two of the bikers got to visit the NICU and see firsthand what the money was being used for.When we were leaving Letterkenny the guards came with us again and brought us f the town. The buzz of the guards alongside the bikers was fantastic, People stopped and took out their phone s to text prem to 57802 !! good plug , ha ha .
From Letterkenny we went to Sligo and once again the unit outdid themselves ! They put on hot food for everybody, the nurses brought myself and Irene along with Sean and Bob into the NICU for the handover of a breast pump. It was great to see although a little emotionally draining to be back in a NICU ! Again , parents came out to visit us and say hi. Was great to see some of the little prems we first met on our trip last year.
Last stop of the day was Castlebar, Unfortunately the NICU was getting a baby ready for transport so we couldn’t get into the unit. The baby was being transferred to Dublin in a helicopter ! We handed over a cheque to purchase 20 stethoscopes for the unit. There were lots of parents here too, again some who were tiny babies last year were now hardy little people.
Last stop of the day was Radisson Galway ! Great food and company and hopefully everyone is looking forward to the next few days as much as we are.
Thanks so much to all the parents and children who came out to visit us today, it was great to see you all and hopefully we will meet some more parents along the way.
Sarah xxx

Irene’s Blog Day 2

Hi guys, this is the end of day 2 and that’s literally as its now nearly midnight…it’s been another long day but worth it. Our first stop this morning was Letterkenny after a trip or three around the town, another lost puppy on a motor bike, oh the joys of it all as it wasn’t the girls getting the guys lost surprise, surprise – something that might crop up later in this blog….Got to Letterkenny where on our arrival we were greeted with some familiar faces and a great welcome. After chatting to the staff here including the General Manager, some visited the unit, staff explained the difficulties that babies and families especially from Donegal experience, the problem of transfers - the vast journeys and times, and special neonates transport team’s e.t.c. which seemed to start a running theme to the day. We then were kindly joined by the Gardai who brought us all the way from the hospital and nearly into Donegal town which was very much appreciated and was an unbelievable sight.
Our next stop was Sligo General, prior to that we were meet by another escort where the Garda came from his night duty sleep especially to help us out. Perhaps secretly he was a bike fan but still we are deeply touched by this gesture. Sligo was another great experience as more of the guys got onto the unit to see these special babies and such a warm welcome form the staff here too. We also met families that we knew and the little boys and girls had great fun getting their pictures taken on the bikes.
Castlebar General was our next port of call but unfortunately due to the unit being very busy our visit didn’t go according to plan. A little baby was being prepped for an air lift to Dublin at this stage; some medical staff explained the process of this occurring to the guys. Thank you to these families that came to meet us here as well – this reminds us of why we are actually doing this trip and the smiles on the children’s faces make it worthwhile. Thank you to Luke, Eli and Ruairi for being great boys today and they seemed like naturals on the bikes.
Off to Galway where it’s our pit stop for the night, on the way though.. we seemed to get a few lost, now folks keep in mind earlier in the blog and yesterdays blog, so we shall say no more and carry on. However, we waited and regrouped after a few funny moments and banter, took to the road again and hit Galway this evening. (We did offer a look at our road map again but it wasn’t taken up!!!)We had a lovely dinner and now the chat has started in the lobby. Al I can say is bring on tomorrow in every way. Galway unit is tomorrow morning and then it’s down to Tralee and into Limerick - a long road trip but watch this space to see what happens!!!
P.s. we have the map…..

Sean’s Blog

Letterkenny Hospital where we met Kate, our delivery arrived while we were there. More of the staff greeted us and there. Thanks to Jack and his parents for coming down and meeting us at the hospital, Jack was a great big boy and got his photo taken with me with my helmet on. The general manager of the hospital also came to have a chat with us. Thanks to Marcus for coming down and giving us an escort out of Donegal. Perhaps he may even come on the trip with us next year.Sligo was next on the agenda, where we all got fed and watered. A photographer from the local paper was even on hand for our arrival to the hospital where there was a greeting party outside the main entrance. Everyone was shocked with such a warm and great welcome, families made it a great day with the interest they all had in the guys and the bikes. I was delighted to get into the S.C.B.U. which brought back all the memories of last year and it reminded me why this trip was worth all the hard work and effort. The babies were so defenseless without our help and the staff work under such pressure it’s nice to know that you are making a difference in their survival.
On a lighter note our road captains in charge of our groups got lost. Trying to find Letterkenny Hospital making us go around the town twice before we got out, and another road captain lost his group completely!!!! During the dinner the road captains came under some stick and were called to be sacked more than once so to end on a charity note please please text Prem to 57802.

Siobhan's Blog- The long and winding road...

Today, "The late JC" as the bikers fondly refer to him as, smiled on us and it was sunshine all the way. That meant that I got to ride in leathers like a real biker instead of the very unflattering rain gear that I has been my uniform for the past two days. Obviously, I looked VERY cool!!

So, 14 counties, two more hospitals and several more babies. One of the hospitals was presented with a 'syringe driver'. A machine thats keeps the babies intravenously fed a drip of glucose at a time until they are able to be fed in a normal way for a prem baby. Again, it wasn't my turn to see the babies. But my big brother, who is on this trip with me, did get to visit the prem unit. Normally a man of many words (must be a Brennan thing), he had very few when he came out. He swears that the baby he saw moved her hand when he waved at her as the nurse held her upright. He was a bit emotional. I know how he felt.

While he was in there and the rest of the group were waiting outside, I was chatting to one of the riders who rides in a different group to mine. He told me that he had had two prem babies. Neither had survived. I have no idea how to put into words how that must have felt/feel, so I am not going to try...

I also spoke to a lady this evening whose husband Liam, is on the trip, that had a prem baby 43 years ago. She had to watch him develop through a glass window for the first month of his life. She didn't get to hold him until he was a month old...again I have no words! How times have changed. She made me cry with her story, but she had endless praise for the nurses that, through their dedication, she got her baby home, on her second wedding anniversary, when the porter from the hospital cycled down to her house to tell her to bring her baby home.

So day three on the road. I have decided that I don't like motorways on two wheels. Normally when four wheels are at my disposal, a motorway would be my first choice, but on two wheels, they are just boring, and windy, and scary!

After our hospital visit this morning, we had a longish journey to get to the ferry, so having sorted the earphones for my iPod and the speakers for our communication device, and finally getting them comfortable under the helmet, I plugged myself in and off we set. Being plugged in with the sound up, on the back of a bike, is very isolating, you are very detached from everything. It wasn't unpleasant (except for the motorway bit) and I sat comfortably in my isolation until we stopped for lunch.

After lunch we had a shorter trip to the ferry at Tarbert so myself and Joe chatted on the radio. At one stage we passed a wind farm. I asked him to stop so that I could go in and tell them that some of their produce had escaped and it has been following me for the past two days!!! He said we'd miss the ferry if we stopped...

Made the ferry in nice time and we were all very giddy, buying lollipops from the little kiosk on board and taking photos up on the top deck. A very pleasant crossing, but No dolphins today tho'.

Another learning day!! Today I learned:

That you need to make sure that all your hair is tucked in under your helmet as loose strands flapping in your face can be very annoying.

That no matter how hard you try, you cannot avoid helmet hair!

That you need to check that the zip on your leather trousers and the zip at the back of your jacket are compatible, other wise you can't zip them together and keep the draught out. I had several offers of help with that problem from the bikers...hmmm...

That being isolated from the world with only my music and my thoughts was very good for me.

And last but not least, I really need to delete some of the rubbish that I have on my iPod!!! :-)
Posted by Shivs at 8:59 PM

Irene's Blog -Saturday the 28th of April 2012

Couldn't get out this am and I had no roomy last night her lovely

hubby surprised her and secretly arrived to Galway. So it's not easy
to get out without motivation. Meet with the Garda this morning who
had an escort into the hospital, and after all that that some people
still managed to get lost...again it wasn’t the cars... !
Have to say that on the third day we have a nice rhythm going with the
car horns coordinated very nicely by Paul in the van. Speaking about
vans better keep an eye in Sarah today so she's not getting into any
strangers van ...hehe.

Our first visit was the Galway unit where families came out and met us
so early in the morning and on such a cold one as well. It was great
to get some more people onto the unit to see it and one of the bike
guys only brought his little baby home from here 3 weeks ago so it was
emotional to say the least. On the road again to get the Tarbet ferry.
This was great we all were on it together and then the banter and
slagging started. We also managed to blag our way into the captain
where we got our pic taken.

After a little pit stop in Listowel we headed on to Tralee and were
joined on the way by our Garda escort. Tralee was amazing, staff came
from the unit and explained equipment that they need and the reasons
why. Lucky for us we got more guys onto the unit here to see the
babies and met the families.
Thank you also to the security man who made Sharon go scarlet and
speechless which doesn't happen often and best of all folks we got it
on camera just to prove it!!

Next stop limerick for the night where my hubby had come down with the
boys to meet us like other members of the charity including Liz,
Allison, Ken & Oisin. Spouses of some of the riders also came down to
meet us that night which made a great atmosphere but it is true alot
of guys do go alot quieter when their wives are around - it was great
to see!!!! We had some prizes to give out following dinner so Sean
told some tales from the trip and the was great fun as Papa Smurf
told a few gags - never thought ice cream could choke you but had
first hand experience as I was so busy laughing and eating it nearly
happened to me.
Thankfully I had the foresight to get a baby sitter and we were able
to sit down with everyone and soak up the atmosphere in the bar and
got the hubby introduced to these guys on the trip. Tiredness then hit
and it was time for bed but the only thing was that we had a little
lie in on Sunday....those that had no children with them that is.

Sharon's Blog

Day 3 of the Ride Out - ship ahoy!!

We headed for Galway NICU first thing this morning, the weather was just fab and the riders love a bit of sun when the are cruising.

The NICU permitted 3 of our bikers into the Unit, and at this stage they are queuing up to visit the units, as the power of seeing is believing was rippling through them all. Physically seeing where there money is going and what it's doing was tugging at their heart strings.

Next stop was Tralee NICU, but we were going via Tarbert and hopping on the ferry. The scenery was amazing, such beautiful countryside surrounded us, disturbed ever so slightly but the roar of the engines of our big bikes!!

The ferry was a lovely experience, everyone seemed to enjoy the short trip and the pink ladies got to go to the top deck and visit the captain!!

We stopped in listowel for lunch, and took over the whole of the centre of the town - it was such a sight!!

Our visit to the NICU was another positive one, they were thrilled with their piece of equipment and again a couple of bikers had the chance to visit the unit and experience first hand what prematurity is really like.

A grown man in full biker leathers with a tear in his eye would melt your heart.

On to limerick where we checked in, and relaxed. We met Ian Dempsey and Mario Rosenstock in the bar and told them all about our trip and took a few pictures with us all.

At dinner we present the guys with their tshirts and obligatory patches, they were all so positive about the trip and have totally changed m perception of 'bikers', they are all pussy cats really!!!!

We were on the home stretch now. Unfortunately at this point my adventure had to come to an end. Due to a family emergency I had to get home, so I had to regrettably leave the group to do their last couple of hospitals and the trip home.

It went really well all in all, and I'm already making notes for 2013, it will be epic!!!! Get your name down early, you won't want to miss out.

Sunday the 29th of April 2012

Siobhan's blog- Born to be wild!

692 miles, 30+ riders, 18 counties, 8 (or 9) hospitals, 4 (or 5) police escorts, several babies...and a partridge in a pear tree!!

Me, all the other riders, pillion passengers, and support crew, are home safe. Although the last bit of the journey along the M7/N7 from Portlaoise to Dublin today wasn't the easiest of rides. The cross winds were horrendous and even the more experienced drivers were complaining. At one stage it was so bad that I contemplated getting off the bike and riding in one of the support cars. But then I remembered little (tiny) Baby S that I had met on the first day and thought what would happen if she gave up. She can't give up, so I thought I better not... Even Joe said at one stage that it wasn't much fun, but he never complained about the Velcro like grip that kept me attached to him for most of the motorway driving. I didn't dare let go! But once we reached the relative shelter of town and were guided in along the north Quay then down Dame street by two Police bikes stopping the traffic and making noise, we forgot all about the wind, and enjoyed the ride, and the excitement, and the noise...!

So now I really have, been there, done that, and worn the tee-shirt. Me, and the rest of the crew, were presented with 'Prem Baby Warriors' tee-shirts last night and they were proudly worn today by all and sundry. At last I had some part of the uniform that wasn't borrowed!!

We had dinner at the Hard Rock cafe and then after many fond farewells (including one for my brother, who leaves tomorrow and faces a drive of 300 miles home when he gets off the ferry) and plenty of hugs, I made my way home, on 4 wheels!

All that's left now is to unpack my bag and put away all my stuff. What an anti climax.

I wiped clean my helmet and put it back into its protective bag. I opened a wardrobe door to put it away and I wondered when would be the next time that I get to wear it again....

So, what did you learn from my experience?? :-)

Irene's Blog- Day 4


Blog Day 4

Day four already the last few days are after flying by can’t believe
it we are heading home today. Down to breakfast and there is a
different type of atmosphere its more sombre or maybe it’s just me. On
time our escort arrived, even though we had changed the times a little
he came in and chatted and had no problem waiting for us. Off to the
hospital we went and my little men were so excited to see all the
bikes go, after a short trip we landed to St. Munchins Unit. Here, a
lot of the guys could get in so far, thank you to the staff here as it
was very busy on that morning and were dealing with a very difficult
situation at that time, but they didn’t greet the guys or us with any
less that sheer professionalism and courtesy. Following there, we then
hit the road for Portlaoise. A pit stop at Mountrath gave us a
breather and was our meeting point for our next escort into
Portlaoise was fab as the unit got visited by plenty of the guys,
there were families there also. It was great to see them all and the
effort they made to come out to meet us all. From there it was back to
Dublin but first we stopped to pick up the Radio Nova Hummer and
bikes. By inchicore our Garda escorts had also joined in and to say
the least it was a spectacular sight. We went in convoy in a
formation, the excitement was fantastic and I felt so proud to be
involved in this. Our noise and cavalcade made a lot of people stand
and take notice on the street which is fab – hopefully the charities
profile was raised high above the bar with this event. Going in to the
Hard Rock and seeing other members of the charity there was such a
buss. After having a meal there and chatting to everyone it was time
to go and there it is Ride out for another year nearly finished apart
from paper work and the likes. Last year I said I wouldn’t do this
again but I am so glad I did and this year I am starting to think
about next year already.
I am so glad I was involved in this event and I want to thank Sean
for introducing us to these wonderful guys and girls – as there were
females on the bikes as well for the whole trip – impressive or what!
(Apologies for not saying that earlier)Never could you meet such
wonderful people and it was a pleasure to meet you all. To all the
staff of the units and the families ye all made it so worthwhile. A
hugh thank you to Murtie,who, sorted out connections for the escorts
which were great. Lastly I would like to also say thanks to all those
who did interviews for me with papers and radio I know that it was out
of peoples comfort zones but thank you for doing them - much
P.S. Arthur - We thought off getting a GPS for you but we decided on
a bungee rope as you won’t be able to go too far and lose the lads
again! Thelma & Louise.

Evan's Blog-Day Four

Day 4 (Ride Out For Prems)

After getting a well needed late start this morning we set out on the road for the last leg of our trip. Our first stop was Limerick General Hospital. We were again blessed with nice weather and set off. I think this would be a good time to take all the members of An Garda Siochana that escorted us over the weekend. While at Limerick Hospital I got to go visit the neonatal intensive care unit. This for me was a real eye opener into just how important every piece of equipment we fundraised for is. I also got to meet Bridget a new mom of a beautiful baby girl Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane is a new prem baby that will benefit from the equipment we gave to the hospital today.

After that we moved on to Portlaois were we again met the wonderful staff and parents and some older prem babies. Talking to the other riders on the trip who all got to visit an ICU at some stage this weekend, everyone agreed that we can now see just how big a difference the Irish Premature Babies charity makes.

After our last hospital stop we headed back to Dublin. An hour later and quite wind swept we met up with some special friends from Radio Nova who finished our journey with us. Four days and eighteen counties later our journey had come to an end. Over all this weekend has been an amazing experience. One I will never forget. I will definitely be signing up for the ride out next year. Thank you again to all the staff from the charity, the hospitals and the other riders who accompanied me this weekend.

Finally but by no means least, let us never forget the precious premature babies that are always being brought into the world. They all need our help. Please donate or help the charity in any way you can.

Evan Whelan (Biker/Prem Warrior)

Peugeot Ireland like last year are supporting the Ride Out for Prems 2012. Peugeot are given us 4 cars and one van to go on the Ride out for Prems. These cars and vans will carry lugguage, a mechanic, 2 first aiders and members of the charity who are going on the trip to support and help the bikers. Irish Premature Babies are delighted to have the wonderful support of Peugeot Ireland again on this really important challenge.

Details of some of the Press Releases issued by Peugeot in relation to the Ride out for Prems 2012.















Another supporter on board to help raise money for Irish premature babies, The Grafton Barber's in Malahide, Co. Dublin and all the Grafton Barber's in Dublin city are taking part in fund raising for the next 3 to 5 weeks,

All proceeds will be used to help raise money for life saving equipment for the ICU's in Irish hospitals nationwide. So go in and have your hair cut, get a shave, donate and help us make life better for people who have premature babies.

Please visit the Grafton Barbers website for details of locations and treatments: www.graftonbarbers.com

 Peter Marks gives Irish Premature Babies the cutting edge.

Irish Premature Babies are thrilled to announced their alliance with Peter Marks in their upcoming event Road Warriors – Ride out for Prems 2012 Motor Bike Road Trip Challenge 2012. This year the much anticipated Ride out for Prem’s annual event will take place over four days from the 26th April to Sunday 29th April. Peter Marks have kindly agreed to be one of the sponsors for this upcoming event.

The purpose of the challenge is to raise vital funds for life saving equipment which will go to Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units and Special Care Baby Units around Ireland, including - Incubators, heart monitors, ventilators and apnoea monitors. These are just some examples of the many units required to keep these precious little babies alive.

Peter Marks have agreed to sponsoring one of our support vehicles, all of which were donated through Peugeot Ireland, thereby our ultimate goal of providing life saving equipment will be achievable. Indeed the generosity of the group does not stop here, saloons nationwide are also helping out. A raffle being held on March 31st in aid of this trip, also features prizes from Peter Marks. Tickets are still available for this raffle and can be obtained through our website www.irishprematurebabies.com

Over the four day Road Trip, participants will be given the unique opportunity to visit Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units and Special Care Baby Units around Ireland. This will give each and every participant a fantastic insight and opportunity to see firsthand what a difference their fundraising efforts will make. On their visit participant’s will also get to meet the parents and medical staff that they are helping. We are guaranteeing fabulous sights and definitely lots of fun with a mix of people whose generosity and enthusiasm knows no bounds.

To find out more information or how to join or sponsor please log on to our

Website www.irishprematurebabies.com or email us at info@irishprematurebabies.com

For further information please see www.irishprematurebabies.com

Twitter: irishprems Facebook: irish premature babies

Contact : Irene Dowling 086 1082545 , Emma Smith 087 1342992

Irish Premature Babies represents the 4,500 Irish families affected annually by premature birth and the 500 babies that die every year as a result of their early arrival into the world.

We are Ireland's only charity that looks after the families of these very special babies, and we also help and purchase vital life saving equipment for the Intensive Care Units and increase awareness of the wonderful work that do saving thousands of babies every year. We advocate for and practically assist parents who are going through very difficult times with their little ones with work being done on ground level but also trying to instigate change at a National and European level.

Each Rider must raise €1,000 to come on the trip and €700 for a passenger. All the funding raised goes directly to buying equipment for the NICU's/SCBU's, we got a list of items that each unit needs and we will be donating as much as possible. To cover accommodation costs and food costs, the Ride out master Sean Brennan has been fundraising separately. It is thanks to all the riders, their supporters and our own supporters that we have been able to put the Ride out together.

Peugeot are donating cars, support and PR.
Raddisson/reidzor group have given us a special rate for their hotel chain.
Peter marks are doing numerous fundraising events and collections for the charity
Harley Davidson are helping us promote the event and have allowed us free use of their shop
Radio Nova will be promoting the event and textline when the Ride out begins
Dunnes stores has sponsored one side of a car.
Boston Belle in Swords held a fundraising day.
Grafton Barbers are doing numberous fundraising activities.



Early Addition

Early Addition


Other parents