Crowds come out to cheer Harry as he completes 100km challenge 

Crowds come out to cheer Harry as he completes 100km challenge 
Harry O'Hanlon, 6, crossed the finish line on the final leg of his  fundraising cycle for autism charities with his sister, Chloe, parents Ricky and Martina at the Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. They were met by Diarmuid O’Donovan of the Kinsale Fire Service and Garda Padraig Walsh, Kinsale. Picture Dan Linehan

Crowds lined the streets of Kinsale on Saturday, as six-year-old Harry O'Hanlon completed his 100km cycling challenge to raise funds for Shine, Sonas and the Rainbow Club.

Harry, who is from Kinsale, was diagnosed with autism when he was three-years-old and has just completed three years of Early Intervention across Shine and Sonas in Carrigaline.

He is now due to begin primary school in Kinsale this September.

Harry O'Hanlon crossed the finish line on the final leg of his fundraising cycle for autism charities with his sister, Chloe, parents Ricky and Martina at the Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Harry O'Hanlon crossed the finish line on the final leg of his fundraising cycle for autism charities with his sister, Chloe, parents Ricky and Martina at the Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Over the past three years, Harry has also attended the Rainbow Club Centre for Autism, which provides key intervention needs, support and services to children diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

Last month, with the help of his parents Martina and Ricky and his cycling partner and sister Chloe, Harry set out to try to cycle 3km every day for 33 days to try to give back to those who have helped him by raising funds for the three charities.

Cian and Aoife Wood were out to welcome their cousin Harry O'Hanlon who crossed the finish line on the final leg of his 120km fundraising cycle for autism charities at the Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Cian and Aoife Wood were out to welcome their cousin Harry O'Hanlon who crossed the finish line on the final leg of his 120km fundraising cycle for autism charities at the Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

That challenge drew to a conclusion on Saturday, when Harry completed his final cycle from the Dock to the Blue Haven with a special escort from gardaí and fire service.

Well-wishers and supporters lined the streets of Kinsale to cheer him on and congratulate him on that journey.

Siobhán and Muireann Howe out to welcome Harry O'Hanlon. Picture Dan Linehan
Siobhán and Muireann Howe out to welcome Harry O'Hanlon. Picture Dan Linehan

Over the course of the last 33 days, the Help for Harry’s Heroes campaign has raised more than €27,000 and donations continue to be accepted. 

Speaking to the Echo, Harry’s dad, Ricky O’Hanlon said the challenge had been “incredible” for them.

“We set out on what we thought would be a low key event in Kinsale that would hopefully get some support locally, and it garnered huge support and raised awareness all around the county including in Carrigaline and in Clonakilty. It’s gone way beyond our dreams and expectations,” he said.

Harry crossed the finish line on the final leg of his  fundraising cycle with his sister, Chloe, parents Ricky and Martina at the Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Harry crossed the finish line on the final leg of his  fundraising cycle with his sister, Chloe, parents Ricky and Martina at the Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Mr O’Hanlon said that the challenge was difficult at times for Harry, but that he kept going throughout.

“It tested him on a number of levels. Over the 33 days he cycles through traffic and wet weather,” he explained.

Mr O’Hanlon said Harry was delighted to complete his final cycle on Saturday.

“It was just amazing for us all. There were children that had joined in along the way, and they were there on Saturday to cycle over the finish line,” he explained.

Among them was Harry’s 4-year-old sister, Chloe who has completed each cycle with her big brother.

“It has been one of the best experiences for us,” Mr O’Hanlon added.

To donate to the fundraiser log on to https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-for-harrys-heroes

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