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*Sean Kelly, one of the country’s must successful cyclists with Olympic rowing silver medallist Gary O’Donovan and Cllr Pat Daly (FF) at the Tour de Munster in Ennis.

OVER 100 amateur cyclists completed this year’s Tour de Munster, clocking up over 400km across four days in their bid to raise vital funds for the branches of Down Syndrome Ireland within the province.

Cyclists tackled St Patrick’s Hill in Cork City to bring the 22nd Tour de Munster to a thrilling end on Sunday. First to conquer the uphill battle were two sporting legends, long term supporter of the Tour and cycling great Sean Kelly along with world-renowned rower Gary O’Donovan, completing his first Tour de Munster.

For the 13th year, Down Syndrome Ireland joined the Tour as its main beneficiary. Over the previous 21 years, Tour de Munster has raised a staggering €3.9 million for its charity partners, with over €3.5 million alone for Down Syndrome Ireland’s Munster branches. These funds allow Down Syndrome Ireland to provide vital supports and services to members of its Munster branches.

Setting out from Cork’s historic English Market last Thursday morning, the Tour made its way to Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick, Clare and Kerry. Throughout the Tour, cyclists had the opportunity to meet many members of Down Syndrome Ireland’s Munster branches who benefit so greatly by the funds raised.

In Clare, they travelled through Barry’s Cross at 6:35pm on Thursday evening before arriving at the Lakeside Hotel in Killaloe at 7:15pm. They set off from Killaloe on Friday morning at 9am and passed Tuamgraney before 10am, making their way to Treacy’s West County Hotel where they had a break from 11am to 12pm. The cyclists then travelled to Kildysart, arriving at 1pm before heading to Killimer for the ferry to continue their journey to Tarbert.

Founder of Tour de Munster, Paul Sheridan said this year’s event was “an incredible journey”. He added, “Participants put a huge amount of hard work and dedication into their preparations and this does not go unnoticed. The appreciation shown by the members and families of the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland ahead of and during the Tour was wonderful. When things got tough, we remember our true goal of raising money and this gives us that extra push to keep going and cross that finish line”.

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