“I’m doing something I love for someone I love so I couldn’t spend the four days any better way.”
Those were the words of Barry Rogers who is taking part in the 21st annual cycling event which sees over 120 cyclists pedal 600km around Munster, raising funds and awareness for Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI).
The goal of DSI is to enable children born with Down syndrome to be as independent as possible, and through the great work of the Tour de Munster cyclists and supporters, DSI can access the funding needed to help more young people with Down syndrome develop and flourish in practical ways.
Founder of the tour, Paul Sheridan said:
“I started Tour de Munster back in 2001 as I wanted to do something to support children’s charities while doing something that I love – cycling. It’s an important milestone this year and given the times we are living in – fundraising for children in need is more important than it hlas been since the first charity cycle back in 2001.
“The Tour is a real endurance test for participants. A huge amount of hard work and dedication goes into preparing for a tour like this. These cyclists dedicate months to training and fundraising. Without their support, none of this would be possible.”
This year’s cycle gets underway this Thursday 5th August until Sunday 8th, with around 150 cyclists starting off at the English Market in Cork. Tour de Munster has raised a significant sum of money for some worthy beneficiaries. The tour has raised over €3 million for the Munster branch of Down Syndrome Ireland since they became the main beneficiary of the cycle in 2010.
Barry Rogers has three children, Ailish (8), Liam (7) & Fiadh who is three years of age. He first became involved with the cycle in 2011, before his youngest daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
“I knew very little about Down Syndrome at that stage but I was quite taken aback by the organisation and the work of Down Syndrome Munster branches and its fantastic members.”
All of the funds raised go directly to the charity, the cyclists pay for their own food and accommodation over the weekend.
Barry has first hand experience of how these crucial funds go to use to help families in need.
“When the parents get a diagnosis of Down Syndrome for their baby, it’s quite an anxious time. You have a lot of worry and we found fantastic supports in the charity. We got great guidance and reassurance – it’s invaluable.
For example, with the Down Syndrome Limerick branch, Fiadh has done a lot of speech and language therapy. Even during lockdown, there was monthly zoom one-on-one calls with the speech and language therapist which Fiadh has greatly benefitted from.”
Watch the full interview with Rogers in full below.
To donate to this year’s Tour de Munster, visit www.idonate.ie/tdm
For route information and news, log onto www.tourdemunster.com or the Tour de Munster Facebook page.
2021 Tour de Munster Route
Stage 1: Cork – Limerick
Thursday, August 5th, 2021
Cork (Silversprings Hotel): 8:00am – 8:45am
The English Market (Grand Parade) : 8:25 – 9:25am
Midleton: 10:25am – 10:40am
Tallow – 11:40am-11:40pm
Lismore: 12:10pm – 12:30pm
Clogheen (Clogheen Community Hall): 1:25pm – 2:00pm
Cahir: 2:30pm – 2:30pm
Tipperary: 3:30pm – 3:30pm
Ballykisteen(Lunch): 3:40pm – 4:30pm
Limerick (King John’s Castle): 5:20pm – 5:50pm
Stage 2: Limerick – Tralee
Friday, August 6th, 2021
Limerick (The Savoy Hotel): 9:00am
Ennis: (tea/coffee: Temple Gate Hotel): 11.15am -11.45am
Kildysart: 1:00pm – 1:00pm
Kilimer (Ferry – Lunch on Board): 2:00pm – 2:00pm
Tarbert : 2:20pm – 2:20pm
Listowel ( tea/coffee & scone: Christy’s pub): 3:10pm – 3:40pm
Tralee (The Rose Hotel): 4:40pm
Stage 3: Tralee – Kenmare
Saturday, August 7th, 2021
Stradbally: 10:20am – 10:20am
Dingle (Lunch: Skellig Hotel): 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Castlemaine (refreshments: MACE, N70/R561 junction): 2:30pm – 2:50pm
Milltown: 3:00pm – 3:00pm
Aghadoe Heights: 3:45pm – 3:55pm
Killarney (break: Deenagh lodge): 4:00pm – 4:30pm
Kenmare (Lansdowne Arms Hotel): 5:45pm
Stage 4: Kenmare – Cork
Sunday, August 8th, 2021
Glengarriff (tea/coffee: The Maple Leaf Bar): 11:00am – 11:30am
Ballylickey: 12:00pm – 12:00pm
Gouganebarra (lunch): 1:00pm – 1:45pm
Macroom: 3:15pm – 3:15pm
Lissarda (break): 3:35pm – 3:50pm
Cork (Clayton Silversprings Hotel): 5:15pm.