19th Annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle launched

19th Annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle launched

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Celebrating its 19th year this August, the annual Tour de Munster charity cycle will once again take to the roads of Munster from August 8th to 11th, raising vital funds and awareness for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) and individual beneficiaries.

Details of the 2019 Tour de Munster including the 600km route were officially announced at the recent launch which took place at DSI Cork’s Field of Dreams. The launch was attended by DSI branch members from across Munster as well as tour sponsors, cyclists taking part in this year’s tour and special guests.

On August 8th, over 120 amateur cyclists will start the 600km, four-day tour around the six counties of Munster. Funds raised from the tour contribute hugely to the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland each year by providing vital services for their members. The goal of DSI is to enable children born with Down syndrome to be as independent as possible, and through the great work of the Tour de Munster cyclists and supporters, DSI can access the funding needed to help more young people with Down Syndrome develop and flourish in practical ways.

A long standing supporter of the Tour de Munster charity cycle is cycling legend Seán Kelly who will once again show his support by joining the tour from August 8th to 11th across Munster. Commenting at the launch Seán said, “I always look forward to the Tour de Munster every August, it’s a fantastic event for such a vital cause. Each year, I meet so many great and admirable people participating in the tour, many who have a child or family member with Down syndrome. It has given me the opportunity to hear first-hand why the services provided by the DSI Munster branches are so important and I’m delighted to support the tour in every way I can.”

The 2019 Tour de Munster will also celebrate the 10th year of its partnership with Down Syndrome Ireland Munster branches as the main beneficiary, a relationship which has grown and flourished every year since 2010. In 2018, the charity cycle raised a phenomenal €256,404 for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland and individual beneficiaries, bringing the total to over €2.3 million for the Munster branches of DSI since the partnership began. Since its inception in 2001, Tour de Munster has raised over €2.78 million for its various beneficiaries. Cyclists also have the option to select their own beneficiary and raise funds and awareness for it.

The funds raised each year as a result of the tour have made a life changing impact on the lives of countless people with Down syndrome in Munster. Having founded the Tour de Munster charity cycle in 2001, Paul Sheridan is looking forward to another successful tour this August. Speaking at the launch Paul said, “We are delighted to celebrate our partnership with Down Syndrome Ireland as the main beneficiary of the tour for a 10th year this August. When Down Syndrome Ireland first came on board in 2010, it really opened my eyes to the support that was crucially needed for those with Down syndrome and their families here in Munster. This evening’s launch has been a heartwarming opportunity for everyone involved to meet those who benefit from the funds raised. I would like to thank the team at DSI Cork and The Field of Dreams for organising such a great launch and spurring us on to August 8th. I would also like to thank the fantastic sponsors, businesses and individuals for their remarkable support as we continue on our quest to make a real difference. Without their backing, none of this would be possible.”

Commenting at the launch, Cathy Gray, Head of Communications with Down Syndrome Ireland said, “Since DSI became the main beneficiary of the Tour de Munster in 2010, it has been a really wonderful partnership. Not only have the funds and increased awareness helped hugely, but the tour has created a really close community between the Munster branches of DSI. You can see year on year that the cyclists involved in the Tour de Munster are truly committed to the partnership between the Tour and DSI Munster branches. On behalf of DSI, I would like to thank everyone involved for their dedication and commitment towards helping those with Down syndrome in Munster. I hope everyone can support the cyclists as they pass through their county this August and encourage them along the journey.”

This year’s Tour de Munster begins on Thursday, August 8th in Cork City and continues over four days around the six counties of Munster until it returns to Cork on Sunday, August 11th. For route information and the latest news log onto www.tourdemunster.com, find it on Facebook, or follow the Tour on twitter @tourdemunster.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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