The sun was shining in Ballyseedy Home and Garden Centre, Tralee on Saturday 18th April, as Tour de Munster, the annual four day charity cycle, which sees amateur cyclists cycling over 600km around the six counties of Munster, officially announced Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) as its chosen beneficiary of this yearâ€™s cycle. This is the 6th year that this national charity has been the beneficiary of Tour de Munster which this year takes place from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th August 2015.
Having raised a phenomenal â‚¬1.35 million over the past five years for the Munster Branches of DSI, Tour de Munster has developed close ties with DSI, with many of the charityâ€™s parents and friends participating in the cycle year after year. Now in itâ€™s 15th year, it is hoped that funds raised through this yearâ€™s cycle will break the â‚¬2 million mark raised since Tour de Munsterâ€™s inception.
Michael Oâ€™Gorman, Munster Branch Co-ordinator, and Tour de Munster participant, is delighted that DSI has been chosen for the 6th year in a row, saying â€œTo be picked as Tour de Munsterâ€™s chosen beneficiary even once was amazing, but the support we have received through this partnership in the past six years has been absolutely fantastic.â€
Michael continued â€œEach year, Tour De Munster goes from strength to strength, with the Tour of 2014 having raised â‚¬250,000. The funds have made a tremendous difference to the lives of people with Down syndrome in Munster, as well as their friends and families by providing vital services and facilities in each county. Our goal in DSI is to enable children born with Down syndrome to be as independent as possible. Through the great work of the Tour de Munster cyclists, we at DSI can access the funding needed to help more young people with Down syndrome develop and flourish in a practical way.â€
Paul Sheridan, who has organised Tour de Munster year after year, with tireless dedication and commitment to the chosen charities said â€œDown Syndrome Ireland is an extremely worthy beneficiary of the Tour and over the last five years of our partnership we have received a huge amount of support from both the charity and families themselves who benefit from the funds raised. The Tour could not have reached its outstanding results without their help and support. Each time we meet these wonderful children, we are reminded of how worthy a cause DSI is. We all have a chance to lend a helping hand through the Tour's fundraising effort, and we are deeply committed to supporting them by helping to raise funds for vital therapy and training.â€
At the partnership announcement in Ballyseedy Home and Garden Centre, Paul also took the opportunity to thank everyone who has got behind Tour de Munster in the form of vital sponsorship over the last number of years: â€œWe are very grateful to the many businesses and organisations who've already supported Tour de Munster, both old and new. We rely on input from these, as well the public for a repeat of the incredible generosity we have received over the past fifteen years. The DSI slogan is "Share the Journey" and our supporters do just that both directly and indirectly.â€
This yearâ€™s Tour de Munster begins on Thursday 6th August in Waterford City and continues over four days until it reaches Cork on Sunday 9th August around the six counties of Munster.
The Irish Examiner, Clare FM, Tipp FM, Red FM and WLR FM are the Official Media Partners of Tour de Munster 2015.
For route information and the latest information and news log onto www.tourdemunster.com find it on Facebook, or follow the Tour on twitter @tourdemunster. For further information on Down Syndrome Ireland please see www.downsyndrome.ie.