Saturday 17 March 2018

Dozens of Gardai along with over 100 volunteers hope to raise €100k on charity cycle

Robin Schiller

Dozens of Gardai along with over 100 volunteers are hoping to raise €100,000 for one of the leading homeless charities in the capital.

The ‘Cycle for Brother Kevin’ is currently taking place this weekend, and will see 112 cyclists along with 20 support staff take on a grueling 350km trip from Dublin to Mayo.

Last year the charity cycle raised €45k with 70 participants, and the organisers are this year hoping to double that to raise much needed funds for one of the capital’s busiest homeless facilities.

The event began at the Capuchin Day Centre in the north-inner city on Friday, June 24, with the first day taking the cyclists on a 170km through Enfield, Co Kildare, and a brief stop at the Mullingar Park Hotel, where all fund raisers will be accommodated with a meal free of charge.

Today the cyclists will again saddle up for another 180km, which will take them along the Wild Atlantic Way and near the Ox Mountains before finishing in Belmullet, Co Mayo.

Garda Gary Moran, based at Mountjoy Garda Station and one of the events organiser's, said that the cycle has been consistently been raising funds on an annual basis for the Capuchin Centre.

“It’s not just for gardai, friends and other groups can come along and join in for a very good cause. The funds go to the Capuchin Centre, which has become more than just a facility to feed the city’s homeless people.

The fundraiser was started by  number of serving gardai in 2010, and in its inaugural year saw just eight people take part in the cycle, but the numbers have swelled over the years with 2016 set to be the largest event.

The funds for the event are raised by the participants themselves as well as through the generous donations of a number of businesses.

People can also donate to the cyclists by texting HOPE to 50300 and donating €2 with each text.

Speaking to the about the charity event, Brother Kevin Crowley- who established the Capuchin Centre in 1974- described the cycle as a "tremendous success" and the work being put in as "amazing".

"The centre has been open since 1969 and we serve breakfast to around 300 people, and we service dinner to more than 500 people.

"We also give food parcels to around 1,700 people on Wednesdays.

"We have medical clinics, doctors and dentists available to help homeless people," Br Kevin said.

"People can also come and have showers in the centre.

"Only for the generosity of the people we wouldn’t be able to survive.

"Our costs this year will be over €3m, so the generosity is fantastic. The volunteers we have are great workers.The funds we raise will be a great asset to the centre and the effort being put in is fantastic.

"One of the things that bother me is the number of families with little children staying in hotels," Br Kevin added.

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