Fifty-six cyclists including Tommy Roe from Letterfrack in Connemara who has aspergers syndrome took on the monster cycling challenge of Malin Head to Mizen Head last week to raise much needed funds for Irish Autism Action.
The route stretching 720km took the cyclists from Malin Head through Coleraine, Dungannon, Armagh, Carrickmacross, Kells, Mullingar, Tullamore, Birr, Borrisokane, Limerick, Listowel, Tralee, Killarney and Bantry before making the final push to Mizen Head.
The cyclists were treated to a very special day on Tuesday as they travelled from Tullamore to Limerick visiting Gala in Borrisokane where they were greeted by a large crowd and also Offaly hurling legend Brian Whelehan, they then went on to Puckane National school where they were greeted by over 120 primary school students with the blue Irish Autism Action flags waving them as they approached the school.
The cyclists also visited Saplings school in Mullingar as well. This was a huge inspiration to them to see the workings of the charity and also to see the children. Tommy Roe also added his emotions as he summed up the week’s cycle thanking all of the other cyclists for accepting him as one of them and they wonderful encouragement and support that they provided. All of the other 55 cyclists signed a special cycling jersey for Tommy and presented it to him in Bantry on Thursday night last to show their appreciation of what Tommy had achieved.
The organisers are indebted to main sponsors City Cycles and MACE. Other sponsors who also supported included Angel Alarms, Drumgoole Construction, Lloyds Bar Amiens street, Dublin1, and B Trans.
Also sincere thanks to Red Cross Ambulance services, The 6 motor cycle marshalls led by Karl Hickey, Aisling the physio and all the wonderful volunteers who gave their time to be part of the support crew. Finally a special thanks to all of the cyclists who took part and helped raise these funds for Irish Autism Action.
All funds raised on the Malin to Mizen cycle will go to Irish Autism Action.
Today the number of people in Ireland with a diagnosis of Autism would fill the Aviva Stadium. However, the number of people in Ireland affected by Autism would fill the Aviva Stadium five times over. These staggering statistics provide some idea of the scale of the issue in Ireland today. Irish Autism Action is striving forward in addressing this – through the opening of our Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) in the heart of Ireland.
The new innovative Autism Centre of Excellence is located on the grounds of the Franciscan Friary in Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath which was opened last month and will reflect the national flagship nature of the facility through an environment of learning, research and developmental opportunities for children and adults on the spectrum. The objective in setting up this unique Centre in Ireland is to offer vital resources to families through a variety of services including a diagnostic and assessment Centre, a Helpline and Information Centre, supported employment opportunities on site in addition to Outreach Programmes.
www.autismireland.ie or follow on twitter @irishautism or contact 044-9371680