Offaly brothers JJ Doyle (8) and Christian Doyle (7) from Ballyfore near Edenderry joined Miss Ireland Pamela Uba and Cannonball founder Alan Bannon to drop the famous chequered flag at the start line of Cannonball, the action-packed supercar spectacle, which blasted off with a mighty roar once again on September 17 from Malahide Castle.
The last pitstop for Cannonball was an unforgettable day in Edenderry on September 8th 2019 when thousands flocked to the midlands town to see the spectacle. The pandemic put the brakes on Cannonball last year so last Friday was the first time the cars revved up their powerful engines since that fantastic finish line in Edenderry.
Cannonball Founder Alan Bannon said: "We would love to come back to Edenderry again and the Cannonballers still talk about the incredible welcome they received. It was one of the best finish lines we ever had and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. The people of Edenderry were so friendly and incredibly generous to our charity. It was definitely an unforgettable year and a big highlight for me."
There was heady excitement and a feeling of optimism at the startline as the event sector finally gets back on its feet after being one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
This year, Cannonball also featured firm favourites McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley. Newly crowned Miss Ireland Pamela Uba did the honours this year and dropped the famous chequered flag before they set off on their epic road trip around Ireland.
The event has already raised €1,150,000 for Irish charities and, this year, the official charity of Cannonball will be The HOPE Foundation, an Irish Charity doing incredible work with the street children of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in India. HOPE funds and operates over 60 projects including 11 child protection homes, a hospital, an ambulance, counselling, food and nutrition, education, healthcare and the restoration of childhoods to children.
The supercars blazed a trail from coast to coast with proceeds to the HOPE Foundation and so far have raised €101,000 and still counting as donations are still coming in. Fans of the event can still donate online on the HOPE website where there is a dedicated Cannonball page.
Cannonball 2021 took in Kerry, Clare, Galway, Westmeath, Longford, Meath, Cavan, Louth and finishes at the Titanic Quarter in Belfast this year.
Cannonball was founded by Kildare businessman Alan Bannon twelve years ago and now the event is the largest organised road trip in Europe.
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