Croke Park Staff cycle from Croke Park to Thurles for charity

A GAA staff group from Croke Park are embarking this morning on the 'Tour de Thurles' raising funds for the GAA's five official 2017 charities by cycling from headquarters to the birthplace of the Association.

The 160 km route will take the group from the capital through Meath, Kildare, Laois and Kilkenny before finishing in Liberty Square outside Hayes Hotel, the site of the foundation of the GAA.

The project was the idea of Croke Park Staff Group and the funds raised will go towards the Association's five charities: The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Asthma Society of Ireland, Breakthrough Cancer Research, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and Make A Wish Ireland.

In addition to sponsorship received (from: AIB, Musgraves, EIR Sport, Allianz, DBA Publications, RTE, Premium Sports, Nemeton TV, Titan Marketing, Armark Catering, The Croke Park Hotel, SoolNua, Avcom, Fulfil Nutrition, Get Fresh Fruits, Coca Cola, O'Neills Sportswear) all cyclists are accepting donations too.

GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail wished the group well.  He said: "This is a fantastic initiative organised by our staff and one that will make a tangible difference for five good causes.

“It is very much in keeping with the ideals of the GAA it has also had a positive knock on effect on team morale amongst staff around our busiest time of the year.

“This initiative complements the work of our Health and Community Department that does so much away from the field of play.

"I know the training that has taken place in recent weeks to prepare our cyclists and I hope it serves them well on their journey.

Speaking on behalf of one of the charities benefitting Peter Minchin of CF Ireland added: “CF Ireland are delighted to support the GAA staff as they undertake this cycle to raise awareness of health and wellbeing. Exercise is so important, particularly for people with Cystic Fibrosis.

“Funds raised from the cycle will allow CF Ireland provide services and supports to the CF Community in Ireland such as our Exercise Grant scheme. On behalf of the CF Community in Ireland, we thank the participants for their support and wish them well on their journey.”

Chief Garda Superintendent, Mark Curran, said: “An Garda Siochana will continue to collaborate with the GAA as a key partner in communities across Ireland, and to develop relationships and synergies which  make our communities safer. We wish all the participants well in the Tour de Thurles event and commend them for this initiative.”