Laurels cycle crew reach €1m target

By Maurice Garvey

THOUSANDS of people have contributed towards the monumental figure of €1m, which has been raised over the last 11 years by the Laurels Cycle Crew for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital.

To celebrate the milestone, on Friday, September 27, the Laurels Crew will present this year’s cheque to the hospital, and some notable speakers will give a brief talk to attendees.

G2D 2019 Group Ben Ryan Photography 2 compressor

Members of the Laurels Cycle Crew

The Laurels Charity Crew, was established by Laurels bar manager Damien Long and head barman Denis McCarthy 11 years ago.

They host two cycle events throughout the year, a Galway to Dublin event and a Santa Cycle in December from Phoenix Park to Clondalkin Village.

The Crew have also hosted fun runs, and a 2013 edition in Corkagh Park raised funds to place a defibrillator and provide CPR training in all 29 schools in Clondalkin.

“It’s a celebration for all people who participated throughout the 11 years, down to anyone who put a cent in a bucket on a counter,” said Damien Long, of the upcoming night.

“It is a real sense of community and charity. We want to thank people for the last 11 years it is going on, and it is set to continue, with our 2020 Galway to Dublin and our Santa Cycle on Sunday, December 1.”

The sheer scale of the Laurels Crew and how many people have taken part is hard to quantify.

Not only are there hundreds of cyclists in each event, but there is also a small army of volunteers to ensure safety and support, while gardai also support the Santa Cycle.

Explaining the popularity of the events, Mr Long believes it is because “every single cent” go towards something people resonate with - the Children’s Hospital.

“There are no expenses. Everything is done voluntarily. Cyclists self-fund, admin is voluntary. The bikes are brought to Galway by Clare Distribution Services in Baldonnel. Even the diesel involves sponsorship.

 “It is also the ‘feel good factor’, you meet up in the Laurels for an inclusive event over two days. The 210-220km distance is achievable for all abilities. 2013 was our biggest year with 330 cyclists.”

Long said the September 27 event will feature a brief slideshow, and talk by Dr Pat Kiely, plus they hope to have Dubs Manager Jim Gavin and Councillor Kenneth Egan.

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