Christmas comes early for Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), after the annual Tour de Munster cycle event raised more than €285,000 for the charity.
Former professional cyclist and Tour de Munster participant Sean Kelly presented a cheque for €285,655.37 to the Munster branches of DSI.
With 120 amateur cyclists travelling more than 600km throughout Munster, cyclists taking part in the event covered an average of 150km per day through Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick, Clare, Kerry, and Cork.
As each cyclist covered their own expenses, all funds raised went directly to DSI.
Tour de Munster has raised more than €2.4m for its beneficiaries since it began in 2001, with €1.9m of this given to DSI in the last seven years.
The Tour de Munster founder, Paul Sheridan, said he could not be prouder of the Tour and its many participants over the years.
“The hard work and dedication from the cyclists and DSI volunteers has been truly incredible, and I am so proud of all involved on having raised this staggering sum for DSI,” he said.
“For all involved in Tour de Munster, it’s wonderful to see the great work being carried out by DSI’s Munster branches, and the many families whose lives are improved as a result of these branches.
“We are very grateful to the many companies and the public who have supported the Tour in the past 16 years, in particular this year’s main sponsor, Nightline Delivers, who year after year join us on our epic journey.”
The money raised will be shared with each DSI branch in Munster, helping to fund services for people with Down syndrome.
Tour de Munster branch liaison officer, and cycle participant, Phil Keohane, thanked everyone who supported the cycle this year.
“Tour de Munster has been an amazing experience for everyone in Down Syndrome Ireland,” said Mr Keohane.
“I’d like to thank all involved for their incredible dedication and hard work — DSI families, staff, and the DSI community will be forever in your debt.
“The tremendous fundraising work and awareness campaign improves the lives of so many Munster families, and this is what makes Tour de Munster so special.”
Special thanks were given to the cycle media partners; the Irish Examiner, Clare FM, Tipp FM, Red FM and WLR FM.
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