herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Gardai cyclists saddle up for charity ride across Portugal

Pieta House’s Marie Peelo with Det Gda Linda Williams, Rogerio Lopes, of the Portuguese Embassy, and Det Sgt Adrian Whitelaw
Pieta House’s Marie Peelo with Det Gda Linda Williams, Rogerio Lopes, of the Portuguese Embassy, and Det Sgt Adrian Whitelaw

The Garda Tour de Force cycling group, which has donated more than €1m to charity over the past two decades, is taking its fundraising drive to Europe.

Next week it will take on a 500km cycle challenge from Lisbon to Porto, with the assistance of its counterparts in the Portuguese police.

The Garda Tour de Force consists of members of An Garda Siochana and friends who cycle annually to raise funds to aid Irish charities. They have been cycling since 1991 in aid of various good causes.

This year the funds raised will be donated to Pieta House, which is a charity for the prevention of self harm and suicide. It offers free counselling to anyone in need of it.

Since its foundation, the charity has helped more than 18,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self harm.

Our photos show members of the group at the Portuguese Embassy in Dublin 4 at the official launch yesterday.

Endeavours

Since 1991, charities that have benefited from the endeavours of Garda Tour de Force include Crumlin Children's Hospital, Debra Ireland, Aware, the Irish Heart Foundation, CanTeen, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, Marie Keating Foundation, Laura Lynn, Age Action, St John of God (Re Nua) and Trust, which cares for the homeless in Dublin's inner city.

Last September, gardai based at Kevin Street Garda Station in Dublin led a group of 21 on a cycling tour of Romania.

Each cyclist raised at least €1,000 for the charity on the five-day, 650km ride through Transylvania and other parts of Romania.

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