Setting the Wheels in Motion

Tour de Munster, the 600km annual charity cycle which is set to take place this summer from August 5th to 8th has announced its official charity partnership with the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI). On hand to help announce the partnership was Aintree Grand National winning jockey Rachael Blackmore.

Entering into its 21st year this August, Tour de Munster has raised a significant sum of money for some very worthy beneficiaries along the way, raising over €3.4 million in total. For DSI Munster branches alone, the tour has raised a staggering €3 million since they became the main beneficiary of the Tour in 2010.

Down Syndrome Ireland offers a range of vital supports and services to children and adults with Down syndrome and their families in Munster and throughout Ireland. Funds raised as a result of Tour de Munster play a significant role across the Munster branches of DSI.

Each year, an average of 120 cyclists make their way around the six counties of Munster on a four-day journey, raising much needed funds and awareness for DSI Munster branches. Long-standing supporter of the Tour de Munster, Seán Kelly will once again take to the road this August for his 16th tour. All cyclists cover their own expenses and every cent raised through the event goes to the beneficiary.

Reflecting on the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic has had serious implications on DSI’s fundraising capabilities. 86% of DSI’s annual funding comes from public fundraising activities and the wonderful generosity of communities, workplaces, schools, and individuals throughout Ireland. With the cancellation of many fundraising activities, it has been an extremely difficult time to raise funds.

Commenting on the partnership, Paul Sheridan, who established Tour de Munster, said;

“We are delighted to enter into our 12th year with DSI Munster branches as the main beneficiary of Tour de Munster. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s how much the amazing children and adults who rely on DSI need our support. We have shared a journey for 12 years which is very special and each and every time we meet these wonderful children and adults, it’s all the motivation cyclists need to keep pedalling. We are all looking forward to another successful year as we continue on our quest to raise vital funds and awareness.”

Also commenting on the partnership, Barry Sheridan, CEO of DSI, said;

“Tour de Munster is such a fantastic charity initiative and we are very honoured and thankful to be the main beneficiary of the tour once again. Not only have the funds raised helped hugely, but the tour has created a really close community between the Munster branches of DSI. As you can imagine, the past year has been very difficult for us and more importantly those depending on our services. I hope as many people as possible can support the Tour in 2021 and we’re looking forward to another great year.”

Speaking about the Partnership Announcement, Catherine Cleary Chairperson of Down Syndrome Tipperary said;

“As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, I have witnessed firsthand the support DSI Munster branches have received through this partnership over the past eleven years and we are very grateful for their continued support. Funds raised by Tour de Munster go a long way in providing vital services and facilities in each county. We are delighted that these vital funds have helped with the purchase of our newly renovated premises on Abbey Road which is due to reopen next week for speech and language services.”

The 2021 tour de Munster will kick off from Cork City on Thursday, August 5th and continues over four days around the six counties of Munster before returning to Cork City on August 8th. Clare FM, Tipp FM, WLR FM, Red FM, Spin South West and the Irish Examiner are the Official Media Partners of Tour de Munster 2021.

For more information on the Tour de Munster visit tourdemunster.com, find it on Facebook, or follow the tour on Twitter @TourDeMunster.