14th Official Annual Launch of the Tour de Munster Charity Cycle In aid of Down Syndrome Ireland

Cyclist Seán Kelly has officially launched the 14th Annual Tour de Munster, a four day charity cycle which takes place this year from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10thAugust. It will see over 120 amateur cyclists cycle over 600km around the six counties of Munster, in aid of beneficiary for the 5th year in a row – Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI Munster branches).


The event, which took place at Fota Wildlife Park, was attended by many of the cyclists taking part this year as well as members of DSI Munster branches and families supported by the charity. As an extra special treat, families attending the launch got to explore Fota Wildlife Park from earlier in the day, thanks to Stephen Ryan and the team at Fota.


MC for the evening was DSI’s Michael O’Gorman who welcomed special guestCllr. Alan Coleman, Mayor of Cork County Council. Cllr. Coleman stated “The Tour de Munster initiative is fantastic and really shows when people work together at local level, what can be achieved. We may be experiencing tough times economically but the people of Cork and Munster really show their true colours and generosity when it comes to supporting such an incredible charity like Down Syndrome Ireland”.


Cycling legend Seán Kelly, who will be joining the cyclists for his 9th year, stated “I’m honored to be associated with the Tour de Munster cycle event and it’s something I look forward to every August, meeting up with old friends and new along the four day cycle.   It’s now in its 14th year, which shows the tenacity and determination of all of those involved to make it a continued success”.


The idea of the Tour de Munster fundraiser was developed by Paul Sheridan and the Tour has raised over 1.5 million euro for a great variety of charities during the past thirteen years. The DSI Munster branches have been the beneficiary for the past 4 years and in that time the Tour has raised over 1.1 million euro and has helped the lives of countless people affected by Down syndrome in Munster.


At the launch, organiser Paul said “We are delighted to be in a position to help, not only through the money we hope to raise, but also by raising awareness. I am still hugely overwhelmed by the record breaking amounts we have raised these past few years and hopefully with everyone’s support we can raise the same again this year! I would like to thank everyone who has got behind Tour de Munster. 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”.


Pat Clarke, President of DSI also added “All of us in Down Syndrome Ireland are so delighted that our Munster counties are the beneficiaries of the Tour de Munster for what is an unprecedented fifth year.  We are extremely grateful to Paul and his committee for their generous support and all the money received will go towards helping to improve the lives of all our members with Down syndrome.”


John Tuohy, CEO, Nightline Logistic Group, the main sponsors of the event, also spoke during the event; “Nightline Logistics Group has worked with the Tour De Munster team in sponsoring this very worthwhile event for a number of years and 2014 marks another year as main sponsor. As an Irish company that serves communities all across the country we understand the very real difference that Tour De Munster and their charity partners make. We are delighted to lend our support and look forward to a great tour for all participants.”


Guests then enjoyed refreshments generously sponsored by Kudos Catering. Media partners for this year’s event are the Irish Examiner, Red FM, Clare FM, Tipp FM and WLR FM. This year’s Tour de Munster begins in Waterford on Thursday, August 7thand continues over four days, through all the counties in Munster, finishing in Cork on Sunday August 10th.


For up to date information and developments on the Tour please log ontowww.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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