A Galway sailor is due to complete a solo circumnavigation of Ireland later this evening. 

Richard Hayes embarked on the voyage earlier in the summer and has been sailing in a laser dinghy, a small 60kg craft that is about twice the size of a large kitchen table. 

Over the 56-day trip, he has sailed along the coastline, docking each evening before setting sail again. 

He undertook the voyage in an effort to raise funds for a community defibrillator project being overseen by the Croí heart charity.

All money raised will be used to provide specialist equipment to first responders in the west of Ireland. 

It is hoped that a number of people can be trained to use the devices, which will be located in several communities across the region.

The solo sailing effort has been delayed by small craft warnings on a number of occasions but Mr Hayes is expected to return to Galway Bay Sailing Club later this evening.