Jubilant scenes in Cork for cycling fundraiser in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland

Jubilant scenes in Cork for cycling fundraiser in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland
Kamila, Szymon, Zosia and Pawel Switaj from Cork 

THERE was a jubilant atmosphere outside Cork City Hall today as the 20th annual Tour de Munster charity cycle got underway.

The Tour will see cyclists travel 600km over four days across the six counties of Munster in order to raise vital funds and awareness for Munster’s branches of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), as well as individual beneficiaries.

The Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland play a vital role in the lives of children and adults with Down syndrome in Munster, and funds are urgently required in order for the branches to continue providing their vital services.

Deborah O’Connor and Emily Manning at the start of the 20th annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle in aid of the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland 
Deborah O’Connor and Emily Manning at the start of the 20th annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle in aid of the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland 

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland have seen the majority of their vital fundraising events cancelled over the past number of months, and are now facing increased costs as they prepare to re-open their doors.

Conor, Aislinn, Caoimhe and Emer Hurley from Watergrasshill pictured at the start of the 20th annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle. Picture: Gerard McCarthy Photography
Conor, Aislinn, Caoimhe and Emer Hurley from Watergrasshill pictured at the start of the 20th annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle. Picture: Gerard McCarthy Photography

Since becoming the main beneficiary of the Tour in 2010, over €2.8 million has been raised for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland, and participants are once again hoping to raise a significant amount this year.

Jenni Kiely from Carragaline
Jenni Kiely from Carragaline

Speaking ahead of the cycle, Paul Sheridan, founder of Tour de Munster said:

"Over the past 10 years, we have met so many wonderful children and adults with Down syndrome and we have also met their families who have joined us on the Tour.

Paul Sheridan, Tour de Munster, Jenni Kiely from Carragaline, Sean Kelly and Jim Connolly from Ublox pictured at the start of the 20th annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle.Pictures Gerard McCarthy
Paul Sheridan, Tour de Munster, Jenni Kiely from Carragaline, Sean Kelly and Jim Connolly from Ublox pictured at the start of the 20th annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle.Pictures Gerard McCarthy

"We see how vital the services are that are provided by the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland and we are driven to do as much as we can to ensure these continue."

"A huge amount of hard work and dedication has been put in by the participants in the run-up to this year’s Tour and we look forward to what will be a challenging, yet safe Tour in order to raise much-needed funds and awareness," Mr Sheridan added.

Cycling legend Seán Kelly, a huge supporter of the Tour de Munster for the past 14 years, was one of many cyclists to hit the road today.

Jenni Kiely from Carragaline and her uncle John Preston from Cobh Pictures Gerard McCarthy 
Jenni Kiely from Carragaline and her uncle John Preston from Cobh Pictures Gerard McCarthy 

Starting at City Hall, the Tour will make its way through Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick, Clare and Kerry, before returning to Cork on Sunday, August 9 when the cyclists will tackle the iconic and demanding St Patrick’s Hill to complete the Tour.

To support the Tour de Munster and donate visit www.tourdemunster.com.

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