Harry's a hero: Kinsale six-year-old's 120km cycle raises almost €30k 

Harry's a hero: Kinsale six-year-old's 120km cycle raises almost €30k 
Harry O'Hanlon, 6, crossed the finish line on the final leg of his 120km 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

Six-year-old Harry O'Hanlon, who was diagnosed with autism three years ago, raised the money for Shine Centre for Autism, Sonas Special Junior School in Carrigaline, and the Rainbow Club Centre for Autism.

He smashed all expectations, raising almost ten times his original €3,000 target.

Harry cycled 3km per day for 33 days with his younger his sister Chloe, age four, and Ricky and Martina, his parents.

The final leg of the journey was on Saturday, and the family was accompanied for the last kilometre by cyclists from Kinsale's yacht club.

Members of Kinsale's Triathlon Club also flanked the route to protect the cycling group from traffic.

The family was met by Gardaí and the Kinsale Fire Service at the finish line, outside the Blue Haven Hotel in Kinsale. 

Already, more than €27,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe page - and donations are still coming. 

The three causes were chosen because Harry completed three years of Early Intervention in the Shine Centre and in Sonas Special Junior School, in preparation for him to start primary school in Kinsale this September. He also attended the Rainbow Club. 

Proud dad Ricky says they were overwhelmed by the support they received. 

"It's been incredible. We set out a few weeks ago to raise €3000, that was the initial target," he said. 

"To be at day 34, with €27,000 plus, the support has been amazing. It has surpassed all our expectations."

He said they were glad to raise awareness of autism, as well as being able to donate money to the three groups, who are dedicated to helping children with autism. 

Ricky said without the Covid pandemic, the money may never have been raised. 

"Covid gave Harry the outlet to learn how to cycle on the roads, but equally it impacted those three causes during the pandemic," he said. 

"Harry is aware that he's been cycling to raise money for Shine, Solas and the Rainbow Club, but I don't think he realises the extent of what he's achieved.

"The good thing is that this isn't me and my wife doing a fundraiser on Harry's behalf. Harry has had to work for everything and pedal every step along the way. He is touched by all the support. He's a bit of a hero down in Kinsale."

Harry is not the only child from Cork who has raised a phenomenal amount of money for charity. Oliver Lynch, an eight year old from Ballincollig who has cerebral palsy, presented €11,000 cheques to three different charities after walking 5000 metres during lock down. 

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