QUB student head leads by example

March 31, 2014

On Saturday last, Cullyhanna student, Niall McShane, was pounding the streets of Omagh, participating in the town’s half-marathon as part of a personal marathon attempt to raise funds for a number of charities.

Twenty-four-year-old Niall – this year’s President of Queen’s University Students’ Union – signed up for the tough fundraising challenge ‘RUN 4 RAG’, which requires participants to complete four runs in four different counties, all within an eight-week period.

His aim is to raise £4,000, which will benefit Queens’ nominated RAG (Raise & Give) charities – the Michaela Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support, Age NI and NI Chest, Heart & Stroke.

The tough runs Niall must complete to accomplish this remarkable feat are the Omagh Half Marathon, the Great Ireland Run (taking place in Dublin on April 13th); the Belfast Marathon on May 5th and the Newry Marathon on May 25th.

Speaking to The Examiner ahead of his first challenge in Omagh at the weekend, Niall explained why he became involved in the RUN 4 RAG challenge: “Each and every one of us has the ability to give in some shape or form to make a difference – may that be the giving of your time, your skills, your experience or your money. I wanted to give some of my time through this personal challenge to help raise vital funds, which will go a long way to helping support the activities of four fantastic local charities.

“Hopefully, I can make a difference through this initiative and inspire others to see the benefits of giving,” he added.

Saturday’s half marathon in Omagh was in aid of the Michaela Foundation, a charity which Niall says he is delighted to support: “I am delighted to be able to fundraise for such a worthy cause as the Michaela Foundation. Through the work of the Michaela Foundation and its official society at Queen’s University, I can see first hand the positive effect the foundation is having on Queen’s students and beyond.”

The Michaela Foundation provides scholarships to students embarking on their Queen’s University journey for the first time, known as the Michaela Foundation Scholars.

Anyone wishing to support Niall in his challenge can make a contribution online at