Official Launch of the 12th Annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle In aid of Down Syndrome Ireland

Official Launch of the 12th Annual Tour de Munster Charity Cycle In aid of Down Syndrome Ireland

Tonight Sean Kelly officially launched the 12th Annual Tour de Munster, an annual four day charity cycle which takes place this year from Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th August 2012. It will see 150 amateur cyclists cycle over 600km around the six counties of Munster, in aid of beneficiary for the third time in a row – Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI Munster branches).

Tonight’s event, which took place at Vertigo in the County Hall, was attended by many of the cyclists taking part this year as well as members of DSI Munster branches. MC for the evening was DSI’s Michael O’Gorman who welcomed special guest Councillor Barbara Murray, newly appointed Mayor of Cork County.

Cycling legend Sean Kelly, who will be joining the cyclists for his seventh year, stated: “Over the seven years I have participated in this cycle, I am always amazed by the great sense of camaraderie among the group with everyone supporting each other, not just on the four days of the cycle, but in the months of training beforehand. It’s such a worthy cause and I’m delighted to be cycling again for Down Syndrome Ireland.”

The idea of the Tour de Munster fundraiser was developed by tenacious Paul Sheridan who has managed to raise over a million euros during the past twelve years for different national charities, helping the lives of countless people.

Organiser Paul said at the launch “This is without doubt a demanding four days of cycling and I would like to thank each cyclist for their commitment to the cause, as they all cover their own costs so that every penny raised goes directly to the charity, which for the third time in a row is Down Syndrome Ireland. I would also like to thank everyone who has got behind Tour de Munster.  To have reached over a million in total for many charities over the past eleven years just proves that the generosity of the Irish people is unbelievable.   I am struck every year by the support we receive on this journey around Munster, by the well wishers, the friendly faces, the welcome and the support in every city, town and village we pass. I am still hugely overwhelmed by the record breaking amount of €300,000 we raised last year and hopefully with everyone’s support we can raise the same again this year! “

Pat Clarke, CEO of DSI also added “Down Syndrome Ireland is delighted to be the beneficiary of the Tour de Munster for the third year running.  We are extremely grateful to Paul Sheridan and his team for their on-going support for the work of our Munster branches. We also appreciate the work of our member branches, working in co-operation with Paul and his team, which makes this event such a huge success.  Our local branch network does tremendous work with little government funding and will ensure that all the money raised will be used for existing necessary services and in developing new ones”

John Sweetman, a young man from Glanmire with Down syndrome, also spoke of his new role on the DSI Cork Committee, at their offices in Centre Park Road. John also received a big round of applause when he spoke about participating in the Special Olympics swimming team in 2010.

Tony Scott, Sales Director of Nightline, the main sponsors of the event, also spoke during the event and General Manager Kevin Murray of Nightline also attended the event. Guests then enjoyed refreshments generously sponsored by Brook Catering.

Media partners for this year’s event are the Irish Examiner, Red FM, Spin South West, Clare FM, Tipp FM and WLR FM. This year’s Tour de Munster begins in Cork on August 9th and continues over four days, through all the counties in Munster and returning to Cork on August 12th. For up to date information and developments on the Tour please log onto www.tourdemunster.com or you can follow the Tour on twitter @tourdemunster.  For further information on Down Syndrome Ireland please see www.downsyndrome.ie

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