Cyclists to hit the road for the Brothers of Charity services

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

FOR the third year in a row, the Brothers of Charity in Newcastle West will be tearing up the tarmac of West Limerick this weekend when it holds its sponsored cycle fund raiser.

FOR the third year in a row, the Brothers of Charity in Newcastle West will be tearing up the tarmac of West Limerick this weekend when it holds its sponsored cycle fund raiser.

This Saturday, September 1 a peloton will traverse almost 100km of roads in a bid to raise money for the Newcastle West service, which provides day and residential care for adults with intellectual disabilities in West Limerick. At present, a total of 74 people and their families avail of the service.

Aoife Keogh of the Brothers of Charity said that the cycle is the only event that the charity organise themselves, and every cent of the money raised will be invested back into their centre.

“This is the only one that we run ourselves on our own. There’s been very good interest so far, but we could always use a little more! The money from last year went into building wheelchair-accessible toilets in the centre here. The money from this year will go towards a similar project.”

The course will start and finish at the Brothers of Charity’s main centre at Lacey’s Cross in Newcastle West, and will take in Rathkeale, Askeaton, Foynes, Glin, Athea, Abbeyfeale and Templeglantine. The route is symbolic as well as challenging – it passes through nearly every town and village within the Brothers of Charity’s local catchment.

As with the last two years, the event will see a massive logistical operation involving dozens of volunteers, marshals, members of the Red Cross and gardai.

Riders will be treated to a hearty pre-cycle breakfast at the centre’s canteen from 8am, while a pit stop lunch will be served when the cyclists arrive in Glin at around 1.30pm. Further food and refreshments will be served to the weary riders when they arrive back in Newcastle West some time after 4.30pm.

There is an entrance fee of €40 for adults and €20 for students, children and pensioners which can be paid on the morning of the cycle. All those who have not already registered can do so before 9am on Saturday morning.

Ms Keogh said that while the cycle has only been held for the past two years, it has already established itself as one of the foremost events on the Brothers of Charity’s local calendar.

“Last year there were local people along the whole route. They came out in droves to support the cyclists. It was a huge success and everyone already started looking forward to the next one. There was a fun atmosphere, even if there were some signs of fatigue in the camp!”.

The Brothers of Charity provide day services at their specialised centre, and also have six residential care houses, including facilities in Newcastle West and Feohanagh.