Amputee soldier set for 1500km journey round Ireland by sea

Ireland 360 team consisting of army veteran Rory Mackenzie,Tim Maw, Neil Laughton and Mark Shoosmith
Ireland 360 team consisting of army veteran Rory Mackenzie,Tim Maw, Neil Laughton and Mark Shoosmith

An army veteran who lost a leg during the Iraq war is set to join three civilians in a bid to make history, while also raising vital funds for worthy causes.

The Ireland 360 team is aiming to become the first ever mixed amputee and able-bodied group to circumnavigate the island of Ireland on unmodified Sea-Doo personal watercraft.

The expedition, setting off from Belfast on August 5, will see the team travel around 1500km, raising awareness and funds for Help for Heroes and the RNLI.

Weather permitting, the team will aim to complete the journey in two weeks. The overall objective of the expedition, apart from raising money for the charities, is to demonstrate that no matter what physical or mental obstacles are put in front of people, anything is possible.

The group is made up of Rory Mackenzie, an army veteran who lost his right leg in Iraq; Tim Maw, a director at a property development company; Neil Laughton, a former UK Special Forces officer turned entrepreneur, and Mark Shoosmith, the managing director at a specialist vehicle garage.

Mr Laughton, Ireland 360 team leader said: “It’s a privilege to be a part of a challenge for causes that are so dear to my heart.

“As an ex-serviceman myself, I know the hardships that come after finishing a tour of duty and it’s amazing to see charities like Help for Heroes that are committed to helping our men and women, who have for fought for our country, readjust to civilian life.

“It’s been an inspiration working alongside Rory and the rest of the boys, and having such a mixed group has definitely taught me a thing or two.

“But for now, I just can’t wait to get on the water,” Mr Laughton added.