Tallaght Hospital Medic to cycle the length and breadth of Ireland for cholesterol research

Professor Maher bicycle launchJune 22nd 2017 Professor Vincent Maher, a Consultant Cardiologist from Tallaght Hospital and a number of his colleagues will set off on an inaugural 10 day cycle of the length and breadth of Ireland to raise awareness about Cholesterol and why people need to know their cholesterol ‘numbers’ and raise funds to develop a cholesterol management centre at Tallaght Hospital.

The cycle, which will begin in Malin Head, Co. Donegal on June 30th and end in Dillon Park, Dalkey, Co. Dublin on July 9th, aims to raise awareness about Cholesterol and will raise money for the establishment of the Advanced Lipid Management and Research (ALMAR) Centre at Tallaght Hospital. 

The issue of high cholesterol is very prevalent in Ireland and can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, especially among those who smoke, have diabetes, obesity or high blood pressure. If the Irish population is similar to that of England, then one in 12 people have markedly high cholesterol levels, one in nine people have low HDL cholesterol levels, which normally protect against heart disease, and genetic disorders of “bad” cholesterol occur in approximately one in every 200 people. Overall, approximately 80% of individuals are unaware of their cholesterol problems and many are diagnosed only after a heart attack or stroke. 

Ireland lacks accurate information on the extent of its cholesterol related problems. There is no national screening strategy or dedicated resources in hospitals, primary care or the community to diagnose and treat cholesterol-related disorders effectively so as to reduce cardiovascular risk. It is hoped that a dedicated and adequately resourced centre such as the proposed ALMAR Centre, will provide support to patients with challenging cholesterol disorders, facilitate family screening and help refine patients’ diagnoses with the use of more specialised investigations. 

Commenting on the cycle Professor Vincent Maher commented, “As my first major cycle I am approaching this challenge with some trepidation but also a lot of determination. Irish society is facing an enormous challenge to raise awareness of cholesterol and the health threats it presents for many people. Put quite simply, many people who are at risk are unaware of their situation. This is why it is important to educate people about their health and how to look after themselves. On this cycle, we will be visiting all corners of Ireland to meet the general public and also to raise money for a dedicated research centre at Tallaght Hospital. It is hoped that we in Ireland can replicate the extensive national research studies that have been done in places such as England in order to better inform us about the health challenges we face.”

The cross-country cycle will begin at Malin Head at 4pm June 30th 2017 and will take in Enniskillen, Athlone and Mallow before reaching Mizen Head at the end of day five July 4th where there will be a rest period. The second leg of the cycle will depart on July 7th from Dooagh on Achill Island, travelling to Claremorris, Castlerea, Mullingar and Kilcock, before finishing in Dalkey on July 9th, 10 days after it begins. In addition to cycling, the team will stop at various points around the country for a “Cholesterol Happens – Know Your Number” event, where they will invite members of the public to have their cholesterol tested and to discover their cholesterol numbers. These Cholesterol testing and “Know Your Number” sites will be in Aughnasheelin, Athlone, Killarney, Claremorris, Kilcock and Dalkey.

To find out more about the ALMAR Cycle please click on this link http://www.tallaghthospital.ie/Departments/Cardiology-Lipid-Management-Service/ OR http://bit.ly/2scPxrg

Donations can be made through https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11364406_almar-centre-fundraising-page.html

Professor Maher would like to acknowledge the funding received from The Meath Foundation at Tallaght Hospital for the pilot project. The success of this pilot programme has greatly contributed to the development of a dedicated national programme of care for patients with complex lipid disorders. 


Date / Time


Aughnasheelin, Co. Leitrim

July 1st  6pm – 9pm

Aughnasheelin Community Centre

Athlone, Co. Westmeath

July 2nd 3pm-6pm

Golden Island Shopping Centre

Killarney, Co. Kerry

July 4th 5pm-8pm

Best Western Eviston Hotel

Claremorris, Co. Mayo

July 7th 1pm-4pm

The Mc William Hotel

Kilcock, Co. Kildare

July 9th 10am-1pm

Sammon Group

Dalkey, Co. Dublin

July 9th 3pm-6pm

Dillon Park


About Professor Maher
Professor Vincent Maher, a Consultant Cardiologist at Tallaght Hospital, Clinical Associate Professor in Trinity College and the Irish representative on the Global Familial Hypercholesterolemia Network group, is leading the cycle. Having co-founded Ireland’s Heart Watch programme and formerly Medical Director of the Irish Heart Foundation and President of the Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Professor Maher provides a weekly Lipid Management Service in the Out Patient Department at Tallaght Hospital.

Since 2004, Professor Maher has also been Cardiology advisor to the FAI.

About Tallaght Hospital
Tallaght Hospital is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 495 adult beds and 67 paediatric bed with 2,600 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre. 

Tallaght Hospital is one of two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. Tallaght Hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.

A new satellite centre is to be built at Tallaght Hospital as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.

The Hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 49,512 Adult Attendances and 33,717 Paediatric Attendances in 2016. A further 252,418 patients were treated through the Hospital’s adult and paediatric outpatient clinics in 2016. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities.