Most successful Tour de Munster yet, raises €240,000 for Down Syndrome Ireland (Munster Branches) who have been announced as next year’s beneficiary.

Most successful Tour de Munster yet, raises €240,000 for Down Syndrome Ireland (Munster Branches) who have been announced as next year's beneficiary.

Most successful Tour de Munster yet, raises €240,000 for Down Syndrome Ireland (Munster Branches) who have been announced as next year’s beneficiary.A staggering €240,000, which was double the original target, was presented by cycling legend Sean Kelly to Clare Leonard, President of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI)at an event held at the Silversprings hotel in Cork last Saturday 20th November. Adding to the good news was the announcement made by tour organiser Paul Sheridan, that DSI would be the beneficiaries of next year’s event. The money was raised by over 120 amateur cyclists who undertook a four day 600km cycle around the six counties of Munster during August in an event known as The Tour de Munster, now in its 10th year. Each cyclist covered their own expenses so that every penny raised went directly to the charity. Paul Sheridan, organiser, came up with the idea of the tour ten years ago. He recently celebrated a Rehab Cork People of the year Award in recognition of his achievement with the Tour de Munster which has now almost €750,000 for a number of different charities.

At the event he said;”Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see so much money being raised for Down syndrome Irelan, Munster branches. We had a target of €100,000, which given the times we are living in, we felt might be achievable. We certainly did not think we could double that. Over the last ten years of this tour we have had many positive experiences but in terms of atmosphere, this tour was our best yet. It was largely due to the tremendous support we received from the volunteers of each branch, they lined the streets of every town and village we entered and kept our spirits and moral up when we needed it. One lonely volunteer braved the rain at the top of Molls gap in Kerry, a point where none of us expected to see anyone. Those are the kind of memories that will stay with me forever”

Paul also made tribute to the jersey sponsors, especially Ken O’Reilly of Synergy Security Solutions who he described as being inspirational with his support and encouragement. Clare Leonard, President of DSI said “We are utterly flabbergasted by the amount of money which was raised by this year’s Tour de Munster. We want to thank all of the cyclists, the volunteers and in particular to Michael O’Gorman from DSI Cork, who contacted Paul Sheridan originally. This money is going to make a phenomenal difference in the lives of children and adults who have Down Syndrome and we greatly appreciate it. That we were chosen again as the beneficiary for next year bears testament to the hard work all of the branch members put in behind the scenes and during the four day tour. We are delighted”Each branch in Munster will receive an equal share of the money and has sent in a proposal to explain how they would like to spend the money.

Areas of expenditure include Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy as well as early intervention services which are vital for the development of children with Down Syndrome. The money will also be spent on sports and leisure activities which are as important to the children, helping them to achieve their goals and be independent. Special thanks were also given to Media Partners The Examiner, Red FM and SpinSouthWest. For more information please see @tourdemunster for more updates or www.tourdemunster.com. For further information on Down Syndrome Ireland please see www.downsyndrome.ie

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