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Finish Line Fantasy cycle launched by charity

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With the actual fundraising cycle event not taking place this year, organisers of The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle have launched a 'FinishLineFantasy' challenge in an effort to encourage cyclists to recreate their own finish tomorrow (Saturday), marking the original date of the 2020 cycle.

The idea is to encourage participants to get some practice in before what promises to be the cycle event of the year on Saturday, July 3, 2021.

And they have not one, but two prizes for the winners of the challenge, including a brand-new road bike sponsored by O’Sullivan Cycles, Killarney to the value of €1,000 as well as entry for the 2021 event, a jersey and a neck buff for The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle 2021.

To enter, participants are asked to take a photo of their recreated ‘finish line’ with family or friends, share it tomorrow (Saturday) on their social media channels, and tag the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle with the hashtag #FinishLineFantasy.

They are also encouraging creativity and humorous photos while of course adhering to social distancing guidelines. Winners will be announced Tuesday, July 7.

The volunteer-led charity cycle has raised over €17 million for more than 160 charities since it began 37 years ago, and in more recent years, over €1 million per annum. Unfortunately, due to the cancellation of this year’s event, they are unable to fundraise in the same capacity for their carefully chosen charities. This has had a knock-on effect for charities including St Francis Special School and the Kerry branch of Down Syndrome Ireland.

“As we all re-emerge back into the ‘new normal’ and the additional stress that this may bring, we can only imagine what it feels like for children with extra needs and with that, it is even more essential now to have our own school bus," Fiona Carroll, Special Needs Assistant at St Francis Special School, aiming to raise funds for a dedicated school bus for the children said. "The Ring Of Kerry Charity Cycle and the ‘Cycle For Us We Need A Bus' campaign have never meant more to us than they do now.”

Chairperson of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle Committee, Bridget McGuire, said that they are extremely disappointed that they couldn’t hold this year’s event due to COVID-19.

"We would like to thank once again those who registered this year, all of our amazing volunteers and our charities for their ongoing support.
We really hope that people get on board with our #FinishLineFantasy Challenge, while of course, keeping it local and in small groups adhering to social distancing, as it’s a great way to spend time with family and friends, go for a cycle, have a bit of fun and who knows, win some impressive prizes.”

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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