Gardai saddle up in bid to raise €100k for Capuchin Centre
Gardai are getting on their bikes to raise money for charity with a gruelling 320km cross-country cycle.
Nearly 70 volunteers are hoping to raise more than €100,000 for the Capuchin Day Centre in the Cycle for Brother Kevin.
The event, in its seventh year, features 65 cyclists, including gardai and prison officers.
They left the centre at 9am yesterday and hope to complete the trip to the Broadhaven Hotel in Belmullet, Co Mayo, by 6pm today.
Gda Gary Moran, one of the organisers, said that interest in the Cycle for Brother Kevin had grown every year since 2010.
"We'll split up the trip evenly with 160km each day," he said.
"This year there are 65 cyclists going. Each cyclist has raised money for charity and there has also been corporate sponsorship from various people.
"There has been massive interest from sponsors and cyclists in the last number of years.
"Last year we raised more than €100,000 and this year we hope to do that again, all going well, and it's all for the Capuchin Day Centre."
Journalist Paul Williams is accompanying the volunteer cyclists as a member of the support staff.
Another of the event's organisers, Aidan Walsh, said it had grown from a small group of close friends to a large event in a short space of time.
People can donate to the charity cycle by texting "hope" to 50300, with €1.63 of the €2 cost going direct- ly to the Capuchin Day Centre.
Separately, a group of 100 serving and retired garda officers from all over Ireland have come together to organise and take part in a Four Peak Mountain Challenge.
The aim of the challenge is to promote mental health awareness within the organisation and in the wider community.
The participants hope to raise funds for the charity Aware.
The mountains that they are taking on are Carrauntoohil in Co Kerry, Mweelrea in Co Mayo, Slieve Donard in Co Down and Lugnaquilla in Co Wicklow.