Steve and Jessica visit borough as part of their cross-country mission

Stevie O'Connor and Jessica, named after his late daughter, pictured on the Coast Road on his way to Glenarm during his walk around Ireland to help suicide prevention charities. Stevie is a member of the Long Riders Guild and further details can be found on the website pilgrimhorse.com INLT 28-335-PR

Stevie O'Connor and Jessica, named after his late daughter, pictured on the Coast Road on his way to Glenarm during his walk around Ireland to help suicide prevention charities. Stevie is a member of the Long Riders Guild and further details can be found on the website pilgrimhorse.com INLT 28-335-PR

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MANY people across East Antrim have been asking the same question this past week: “Who is the man with the white horse?”

From Greenisland to Glenarm, local residents have spotted the individual - clad in a hat and fluorescent jacket - out for a stroll with his equine friend in recent days and have been left wondering what exactly he was doing.

Well, the Times can reveal that the mystery walker is none other Steve O’Connor from Tipperary, who is on a trek around the coastline of Ireland with his horse, Jessica.

Steve named his walking companion after his daughter, who died tragically in 2011 due to suicide.

He is now on a quest to raise awareness for suicide prevention and other mental health issues, walking an average of 10 miles a day.

The amazing journey started on May 16, and this week Steve got a couple of nights of well-earned sleep at the farm of Audrey Kyle at the Gobbins, Islandmagee.

Audrey told the Times: “Steve is amazed by the hospitality of local people. He went through Belfast and Dublin without anyone raising an eyebrow, but the generosity of country people has been great.

“He has no support network - just a good pair of army boots, a change of clothes, small gas stove, a tent and sleeping bag.

“My friend drove past him, stopped the car, bought a sausage roll and a bag of carrots and went back to chat to him.

“A lot of people have been telling him their stories and experiences of loved ones who have taken their own lives,” Audrey added.