Student cyclists present €150,000 to Down
Syndrome Ireland

Anyone present in Brady’s pub last Friday evening, August 24 would have witnessed the handover of one of the largest cheques to a charity ever witnessed in Co. Kildare.

Anyone present in Brady’s pub last Friday evening, August 24 would have witnessed the handover of one of the largest cheques to a charity ever witnessed in Co. Kildare.

Maynooth Students for Charity, the organisation which runs the now famous Galway Cycle presented Down Syndrome Ireland with 150,000 euros.

The big-hearted students have been raising funds for charities with their annual cycle to and from Galway ever March since 1987.

But as of last year, they had never presented more than 83,000 euros to any individual charity before.

2012 was the 25th anniversary of the event, and saw a record 219 cyclists taking to the road early on Friday morning, March 23. They cycled to Galway that day, collected on the streets of Galway on the Saturday and cycled home on the Sunday.

This year also saw unprecedented support from sponsors such as Brady’s pub in Maynooth, Monroes in Galway and new-comers Applegreen, who presented their donation to the cause of more than €32,000 to the organisers of the event on Friday.

The money is being used by Down Syndrome Ireland to to roll out an early development program for children with Down Syndrome across the country which has already been piloted successfully in Kildare.

Although it had been announced last March that the cycle had raised €122,000, a large number of donations flowed into the Galway Cycle coffers in the months afterwards, which delayed the presentation of the cheque.

In fact, it wasn’t known until last Friday morning that the fund would top 150,000 euros, when treasurer Caoimhe Ryan did her final sums and arrived at the figure.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she admitted to the Leinster Leader. “I had to count it again just to be sure.”

President of Maynooth Students for Charity Donnacha Gayer said he was delighted and overwhelmed by the final figure, and said he was looking forward already to the 2013 edition of the famous charity cycling event.

CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland Pat Clarke who was one hand to receive the cheque also expressed his delight.

- Conor McHugh