A Tyrone Company the man received a special surprise for his 90th birthday this weekend after a whirlwind visit from a group of traveling cyclists.
The Rock’s Peter McLernon has touched the hearts of many in the cycling community after welcoming them like complete strangers to his home for a cuppa during a trip through the village last year.
Returning the favour, more than 100 bikers showed up for a special event to celebrate Peter’s historic birthday on Saturday.
Read more: Co Tyrone restaurants join ‘bring your own food’ scheme for children with autism
Well known to many in the Rock area, “Petie” then received a “It’s Your Life” reception at the village community hall to mark the occasion.
“Peter lives there on his own now and ran the little store and hardware business until October 2020,” said Cyril Cush, president of the Rock Community Hub.
“The village store closed and all of a sudden in 2021 these bikers came and it just breathed new life into it.
“They’ve never met a character like him.
“Because they’ve traveled back and forth across Ireland and never met anyone quite like him, they just wanted to do something to celebrate his birthday.
“He’s never had a birthday party before, he’s never married and has no children.
“That’s why we as a community thought we were helping bikers and allowing them to do what they wanted to do.”
Cycling enthusiast Enda Carthy said it was something they wanted to do for a man they hold in high regard.
“Peter McLernon welcomed many of us bikers like complete strangers to the village of Rock in Co Tyrone while taking part in the 2021 Irish Photo Rally,” added Enda.
“He took the time, whenever he could, to come in for a chat and give us a glimpse of the true gentleman the locals affectionately call ‘Petie’.
“He seems to be very fond of the cycling community and he invited many of us who had the time, into his house and fed and watered us, while seeking nothing in return – only our time and our ears.”
Read more: Michaela McAreavey: Former hotel employees released on bail
Read more: Community effort to clean up Cuilcagh promenade
To get the latest news from your country straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter.