Tour de Munster smashes all records

Cycling legend Seán Kelly (right) pictured with Enda, Jill and their son Hugh O’Brien, from Tralee, at the official cheque presentation at the weekend.
Picture: Diane Cusack

THIS year’s gruelling Tour de Munster, celebrating its landmark 21st birthday raised a phenomenal €522,201– the largest sum to date – for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland.

The grand total was revealed at a cheque presentation on Saturday with cycling legend and long term supporter of the Tour, Seán Kelly, presenting the proceeds.

Since the tour began in 2001, over €3.9 million has been raised for charity with over €3 million raised alone for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland.

The funds raised play a significant role in each branch to provide a range of vital supports and services to children and adults with Down syndrome and their families.

In their quest to raise vital funds and awareness, this year’s Tour saw over 150 amateur cyclists make their way across the six counties of Munster, travelling over 600km from August 5-8, supported by friends, family members and many volunteers along the way.

Seán Kelly, who celebrated his 16th Tour de Munster, once again led the 150 cyclists through the towns and villages of Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick and Clare, covering an average of 150 km per day.

Seán Kelly enjoying the 21st annual Tour de Munster charity cycle with event founder Paul Sheridan, Kevin Donovan, DSI Kerry, Enda O’Brien DSI Kerry and Kevin Griffin, Chairperson, DSI Kerry (right).

Paul Sheridan, who established Tour de Munster in 2001, was once again amazed by the magnificent support the event received again this year.

“I am so proud of everyone involved. We are over the moon to have raised such a phenomenal sum which will go a very long way in supporting the fantastic work carried out on a daily basis by the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland,” he said.

“None of this would have been possible without the huge dedication and efforts made by cyclists, volunteers and supporters. We are very grateful to the many companies and the public who have supported the Tour in the past 21 years,” he added.

Enda O’Brien of Down Syndrome Kerry said “Thanks to the continued support of Tour de Munster over the past 12 years, much-needed funds have been raised to continue to provide vital services and supports for our members with Down syndrome in Kerry.

“We are extremely grateful for every single person’s support, from the cyclists to the volunteers and the public. Special thanks also goes to the tour’s Kerry sponsors for their fantastic support. Congratulations and well done to everyone involved, the sum raised is astonishing”.