Ring of Kerry cycle raises €580k

A COMBINATION of pedal power and sheer grit from nearly 6,000 charity fundraisers has helped to raise a huge sum of money for worthy causes.

The annual Ring of Kerry cycle, which took place in July, generated a record €580,374 through sponsorship, making it one of the biggest and most successful events of its kind in the country.

The funding was divided between seven Kerry charities who were presented with cheques at a gala celebration in Killarney on Friday night.

An impressive 5,700 cyclists set off on the gruelling 180km cycle on Saturday, July 2, and although the vast majority had trained and prepared for the big event, others hopped on their bikes on the day to test their stamina and resolve.

They cycled from Killarney through Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Kells, Cahirciveen, Waterville, Derrynane, Sneem and Kenmare before negotiating the notorious Moll’s Gap on the way back into Killarney several hours later.

This was the 28th year of the cycle, which has grown into one of the biggest and most successful charity events ever held, raising €4.6 million for good causes since 1983.

This year’s beneficiaries are the Irish Kidney Association; the Kerry Parents and Friends organisation; Friends of St Joseph’s Home; Recovery Haven; Irish Society for Autism; Skellig Stars Special Olympics club; and the Irish Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust.

Funding came from participant sponsorship as well as by a team of bucket collectors who accompanied the cyclists on the Ring of Kerry route on the day.

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