Inaugural Kirby Way Cycle raises over €430,000 for National Breast Cancer Research Institute and Self Help Africa

by | Nov 13, 2022

Pictured above is Kirby Group MD Mark Flanagan, Kirby EHS Advisor Deise Odaguire, former Galway hurler and founder of Warriors for Humanity Alan Kerins and Kirby Operations Director Mikey Ryan at the start of the Kirby Way Cycle 2022 in Limerick. Photo: Alan Place

Two life-changing charities have benefitted from a construction company’s 300km cycle challenge. Kirby Group Engineering’s inaugural Kirby Way Cycle exceeded expectations with over €430,000 raised to date for two great causes.

The company has a long track record of supporting deserving charities and proceeds from the September event are being donated to the National Breast Cancer Research Institute and Self Help Africa.

“Since I first heard of the idea, I could see the fantastic elements that would be of real value to everyone involved,” said Group MD Mark Flanagan.

“Our hard-working charity partners will deliver real health improvements and sustainability with the proceeds and I can’t wait to hear their updates as that progresses in Ireland and Africa.”

Kirby Group Financial Controller Niall McNally and his daughter Croía. Photo: John Ohle

Almost 180 cyclists took to the road as part of the event, travelling along a route from Limerick to Galway and then on to Dublin, supported by a 23-strong team of volunteers, drivers and crew.

Months of preparation paid off as employees, their families, supply chain partners, clients and charity partner reps came together for an unforgettable experience, aimed at creating a lasting collective legacy.

Kirby Senior Commercial Lead Stuart Betts Williams sets off on the first leg of the Kirby Way Cycle. Photo: Alan Place

Galway-based Operations Director at Kirby, Mikey Ryan, headed the event organising team.

“When we first began developing this concept, I knew we could make it a success but I was amazed at the support,” he said. “There has been a wave of positivity towards the Kirby Way Cycle and I’m so grateful to everyone for that.”

Former Galway hurler and founder of Warriors for Humanity Alan Kerins was also an integral part of preparations for the cycle.

“I’ve been working with Kirby on various projects for a number of years so I knew they would bring their trademark dedication and teamwork to the Kirby Way Cycle,” he said. “It’s fantastic to see all the hard work pay off to the benefit of great causes here and in Africa.”

Kirby Planning Manager David McAuley is welcomed by wife Ashley, daughter Isabelle and son Jack, as he arrived at the end of day two of the Kirby Way Cycle 2022. Photo: John Ohle

Mark Flanagan highlighted the positive impact of getting together for such a challenge.

“The nature of our industry means teams are spread  out across various sites, countries and activities. Add to that the impact of Covid restrictions and even those who spend time in the office have come through periods of isolation from colleagues so all that takes its toll on everyone,” he said.

“The Kirby Way Cycle has been a unifying exercise for worthwhile causes and has brought great engagement, healthy activity, teamwork and fun along the way.

“I’d like to thank and pay tribute to the efforts of Mikey Ryan and his organising team, our Kirby colleagues right up to board level, our brilliant clients and supply chain partners who have been so supportive and of course the wonderful charities dedicated to helping people all year round.”

Charity viewpoint

“Your support will help our researchers work towards better breast cancer treatments, therapies and solutions to give hope and better outcomes for breast cancer patients.”

Caroline Loughnane
Chairperson, National Breast Cancer Research Institute Chairperson

“As a result of your generous efforts, much needed funds are being raised to support Self Help Africa’s work across the African continent. The money you’ve raised will plant hundreds of thousands of trees, and will also support thousands of families struggling to produce enough food, as they face the worst drought in a generation.”

Martha Hourican
Director of Business Development, Self Help Africa

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