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Dubs saddle up to raise funds

DAVID CURTIN and Shane Ryan were on the telly talking about cycling, but there was no sign of Oprah.

Instead, 'Our Man' Aidan Cooney interviewed the duo on TV3 last Friday morning. David Walsh and Paul Kimmage would have been impressed with these cool, clean heroes.

David Curtin (right) talked about his early life. He was born a haemophiliac. He knew well the corridors of Harcourt Street and James's Street hospitals. "Sport was my passion. I loved hurling. Being a haemophiliac was not going to stop me. I learned to live with it."

So much so that he captained club and county. His craft was nurtured at the hurling strongholds of St Colmcille's, Knocklyon and Ballyboden St Enda's.

David retired from the Dublin shirt last year. He wanted to give something back to the people who gave him so much during his career -- the Irish Haemophilia Society.

With Shane, he'll be cycling from Malin to Mizen over the June Bank Holiday weekend. It will be no pleasure cruise.

"We'll begin on the Thursday, and we'll be cycling around 180k a day. We'll be doing the cycle over four days," explains David.

"We began training over Christmas. We built it up gradually. We were doing 50 to 60k, now we are up to 100k. The trick is to go for so long, take a breather and go again.

"This Saturday, we are holding the big fund-raiser for the cycle and for the Irish Heart Foundation. It's a white-collar boxing event which will take place at the Wright Venue, Swords. We owe a big thanks to our sponsors at the Jaffa Thai restaurant and it would be great if people could come along and support two great causes."

Shane Ryan will be among those in the ring. He doesn't mind putting on the gloves. "I took part in a boxing fund-raiser for my club, Naomh Mearnóg, before Christmas and I quite enjoyed it," he says.

"I was expecting it to be tough and it sure was. It's hard to believe that four minutes can take so much out of you. But you get a great buzz out of it."

Shane has always been fond of cycling. After one of his remarkable barn-storming displays for the Dubs under Pillar Caffrey, Shane told Mick Hanley on Dublin City FM how he cycled around Portmarnock to loosen up the limbs again.

John Kelly, Cormac O'Brien and Cian McBride are also on the bill that will feature Kilkenny's 'Cha' Fitzpatrick. The Liam MacCarthy Cup, plus several Dublin and Kilkenny hurlers, will be in the audience. There will be an auction for Dublin, Donegal and Kilkenny shirts.

Tickets for the Jaffa Thai Fight Night are €20. That includes a free shuttle bus to the venue from Harcourt Square, entry to the event, a nightclub and after-fight party and barbecue in a VIP area. Proceeds will go to the Irish Haemophilia Society and the Irish Heart Foundation.

More details on Facebook at the Malin to Mizen Challenge -- Charity Cycle for the IHS, and on Twitter at @malintomizen 'cycle for life' and 'cycle for life'. Tickets can be purchased through the email addresses ihsmalin2mizenchallenge@gmail.com and cycleforlife2013@gmail.com.

They will also be available on the door on the night.

€20 is a knock-down price for what will be a knock-out event.