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It's on yer bikes for gardai in aid of Capuchin Day Centre

And they're off. Gardai are taking part in the Great Escape, a two-day cycling fundraiser for the Capuchin Day Centre homeless charity.

The group set off yesterday morning from Dublin city centre on the challenge that has been running for five years.

Eighty people, most of them gardai, are taking part in the charity cycle covering 300km from Dublin to Belmullet, Co Mayo, and finishing today.


It is hoped that more than €20,000 will be raised for the Capuchin Day Centre, a charity that provides support for homeless people and others in need in the city.

The centre provides 300 breakfasts, 550 to 650 lunches and up to 500 dinners six days a week to those in need.

Around 1,800 people rely on the delivery of food parcels each week to feed themselves and their families, the charity said.

Centre director Brother Kevin Crowley said he was grateful to the charity riders.

"The demand for our services this year is at its highest since the charity's inception in 1969. The centre hasn't received any increase in government funding since 2007," he said.

"Without the support of its volunteers, the centre couldn't survive."