12 June 2022
By Tom Collins
The 22nd annual edition of the Tour de Munster charity cycle was officially launched by cycling legend Seán Kelly at DSI Cork’s Field of Dreams on Sunday, 12th June. The popular Tour which takes place from August 4th to August 7th will see amateur cyclists travel 600km across the six counties of Munster in efforts to raise vital funds for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI).
The launch saw details of this year’s Tour unveiled as cyclists taking part prepare for the four day trek through the towns and villages of Munster. No easy feat, cyclists are motivated and driven by their shared goal of raising much-needed funds and awareness for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland. Funds raised as a result of the Tour contribute significantly to the vital services and facilities provided by Down Syndrome Ireland’s Munster branches.
Since 2001, Tour de Munster has raised over €3.9 million for its beneficiaries, with over €3.5 million for DSI alone since it became the main beneficiary of the tour in 2010. Last year was certainly a year to remember for Tour de Munster, as it raised its largest sum to date for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland – a staggering €522,201.
Tour de Munster was established in 2001 by Paul Sheridan, and has had a life changing impact on the lives of countless people through its fundraising efforts. Speaking at the launch Paul said, “ I am delighted to see such a great turnout at today’s official launch of the 22nd Tour de Munster. What a 22 years it has been, each year we are blown away by the continued support from our cyclists, sponsors, the public and of course, the wonderful members and families of Down Syndrome Ireland.
Paul continued, “We can’t thank the many businesses and organisations who have supported Tour de Munster enough. We rely on the support of our sponsors, as well as the public to help us continue to make a real difference. I would also like to thank everyone involved in today’s launch which has been brilliantly organised by Ray Connolly and the team at Down Syndrome Cork.”
Seán Kelly, who this August will celebrate his 17th year supporting the charity cycle is delighted to celebrate DSI’s 13th year as the main beneficiary of the tour. Speaking at the launch, Seán said, “ I am very proud to once again take to the road with Tour de Munster, supporting the fantastic work carried out by the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland. Over the past 17 years, I have met so many wonderful children and adults with Down syndrome and I can see just how important the services and facilities mean to both them and their families.”
Also speaking at the launch, Ray O’Callaghan, member of Down Syndrome Cork branch said, “I’m delighted to be here in the Field of Dreams, Cork today for the launch of Tour de Munster. It’s great to see how many familiar faces came along today to show their support. We are so appreciative of the partnership between Tour de Munster and DSI, the work put in year on year to support our charity is phenomenal.”
The 2022 tour de Munster will kick off from Cork City on Thursday, August 4th and continues over four days around the six counties of Munster before returning to Cork City on August 7th. For more information on the Tour de Munster visit www.tourdemunster.com. For further information on Down Syndrome Ireland see www.downsyndrome.ie