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Sean kelly helps tour de munster aim for record total

Thursday, 28th June, 2012 8:00am

This week cycling legend Sean Kelly launched the 12th annual Tour de Munster, an annual four day charity cycle which takes in all six counties in Munster and over 600km.

It takes place this year from Thursday 9 to Sunday 12 August and will feature over 150 amateur cyclists in aid of the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI). DSI are the beneficiary for the third time in a row. Remarkably, the Tour de Munster has raised more money in the last two years than in the previous nine in total. Last year €300,000 was raised - a record amount. Organisers hope that more money will be raised this year. Sean Kelly, one of Ireland's greatest ever cyclists will cycle for the seventh year in a row at the event. Waterford born rider Kelly won 193 professional races and the UCI Road World Cup.

He said: “Over the seven years I have participated in this cycle, I am always amazed by the great sense of camaraderie among the group with everyone supporting each other, not just on the four days of the cycle, but in the months of training beforehand. It's such a worthy cause and I'm delighted to be cycling again for Down Syndrome Ireland.”

The Tour de Munster fundraiser was founded by Paul Sheridan who has managed to raise €1m during the past twelve years for different national charities.

At the launch Paul said: “This is without doubt a demanding four days of cycling and I would like to thank each cyclist for their commitment to the cause, as they all cover their own costs so that every penny raised goes directly to the charity, which for the third time in a row is Down Syndrome Ireland. “I would also like to thank  everyone who has got behind  Tour de Munster. I am still hugely overwhelmed by the record breaking amount of €300,000 we raised last year and hopefully with everyone's support we can raise the same again this year!”

The launch took place at Vertigo in the County Hall and was attended by many of the cyclists taking part this year as well as members of DSI Munster branches. The newly appointed Mayor of Cork County, Councillor Barbara Murray attended, as did Tony Scott, and Kevin Murray of Nightline, the main sponsors of the event.

Pat Clarke, CEO of DSI also added “Down Syndrome Ireland is delighted to be the beneficiary of the Tour de Munster for the third year running. We are extremely grateful to Paul Sheridan and his team for their on-going support.” John Sweetman, a young man from Glanmire with Down syndrome, also spoke of his new role on the DSI Cork Committee at the event.

This year's Tour de Munster begins in Cork on 9 August and continues over four days, through all the counties in Munster and returning to Cork on 12 August.

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