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Olympic Silver Medal Winning Athlete Annalise Murphy calls for 1,000 Cyclists to join her on the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle in aid of Focus Ireland

Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy has announced her participation in the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle this July, in aid of homeless and housing charity Focus Ireland.

The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medal winning sailor, who recently transitioned national level track and road race cycling, is calling on 1,000 cyclists and fitness enthusiasts around Ireland and beyond to join her on the 170 km charity cycle this July, and to choose Focus Ireland when registering, in order to raise funds for the homeless and housing charity.

The 34 year old Dubliner who has been making waves in the competitive cycling world since retiring from full-time sailing following the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, says she signed up for the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle and selected Focus Ireland as her charity of choice because she wanted to do something to help address the rising homelessness crisis now affecting thousands of people in Ireland.

Official Department of Housing figures released last month show that a record total of 13,866 people living in Ireland are now homeless. This includes 4,147 children and 1,981 families. These figures show a 16% increase on the same time last year and account only for people who are accessing emergency accommodation. They do not include people who are rough sleeping or staying in temporary accommodations such as domestic violence refuges, or people who are experiencing ‘hidden homelessness,’ staying with family or friends in insecure housing.

Annalise Murphy said that taking part in the iconic Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle was her way of getting involved and doing something to help address the crisis, by raising funds for Focus Ireland’s vital homeless services. She said, “The homelessness crisis is an issue that just can’t be ignored and taking part in the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle provides an opportunity for me to help end homelessness, by supporting Focus Ireland in their efforts to prevent homelessness and provide homes for people experiencing homelessness.

“Cycling the Ring of Kerry is a challenge for anyone and it’s a route I’ve never cycled in full before. Focus Ireland is challenging homelessness and changing lives every day so I’m looking forward to rising to that challenge and would encourage as many cyclists as possible to join me on the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle on Saturday July 6, and to choose Focus Ireland when registering. We can all play our part in ending homelessness,” she said.

Focus Ireland believes that everyone has the right to a place they can call home and provides over 100 services nationwide to people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, with the end goal of helping them secure a home of their own.

This is the first year in the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle’s 42-year history that Focus Ireland has been selected as a main beneficiary charity, in recognition of the need to address the surging homelessness crisis. Up to 5,000 cyclists are expected to take part in the event this year and Focus Ireland, with the support of Annalise Murphy, aims to recruit 1,000 of those participants to sign up in aid of the charity and cycle in its name on Saturday July 6.

Focus Ireland was founded by Kerry native, Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, in the 1980s. The charity now specialises in addressing the unique needs of families experiencing homelessness, as well as supporting young people and individuals. Its motto is ‘Challenging Homelessness, Changing Lives’.

Focus Ireland Fundraising Manager and Westport Covey Wheelers leisure cyclist, Lorraine Toner, also plans to take part in the 170 km cycling event. She said more people than ever are now homeless or at risk of homelessness, and that the charity aims to raise €200,000 for its homeless services through the fundraising event.

Lorraine explained that each main beneficiary charity receives around 75% of every participant’s €100 registration fee when they sign up in aid of that charity. The percentage given to each charity will increase or decrease depending on the overall number of cyclists registered for the event in each charity’s name.

“If each cyclist who signed up raised an additional €100, Focus Ireland could benefit from more than €200,000 to continue its vital, life-changing work with families experiencing homelessness. It is therefore critical that cyclists select Focus Ireland when registering, to ensure maximum benefit from participating in the event,” Lorraine said.

Commenting on the need to radically address the rising homelessness crisis, Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said, “The number of people experiencing homelessness continues to rise into the thousands. These are figures we simply cannot accept. By rallying a large group of supporters, we begin to build momentum across Ireland, sending a powerful message that homelessness is wrong. The funding raised through initiatives like the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle can truly make a difference, providing vital resources for services across the country. Together, we can create meaningful change and work towards a future where everyone has a place to call home.”

Welcoming Focus Ireland onboard the event as a Main Beneficiary Charity, Bridget McGuire of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle 2024 organising committee said, “We are delighted to support Focus Ireland, for the first time this year, as one of the Cycle’s Main Beneficiary Charities and we arethrilled to see participants like Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy signing up to take part in the event.We are particularly proud of the fact that the Charity’s founder, Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, is originally from Lispole (Lis Pól) on our neighbouring Kerry peninsula and we are immensely proud of all the work she has done throughout her life to address important social issues.

“Homelessness, in particular, is an issue that is now affecting record numbers of people across the country and we want to support Focus Ireland in their efforts to end homelessness. We look forward to seeing many cyclists challenge the issue in the name of Focus Ireland, by joining the thousands cycling the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle 2024 for their Charity of choice this July.”

The Ring Of Kerry Charity Cycle takes place along one of the world’s most renowned touring routes, a 170 KM scenic loop on the Wild Atlantic Way, starting and ending in Killarney, County Kerry.

First and foremost the event aims to raise much-needed funds for national and local charities like Focus Ireland. Since the inaugural cycle in 1982, the annual Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle has raised in excess of €19 million for 160 charity and voluntary community organisations. Focus Ireland hopes to raise €200,000 towards its life-changing services through this year’s participants’ fundraising efforts.

Cycling the Ring of Kerry is both a challenge and a unique lifetime experience. It is a recreational rather than competitive cycling event and Annalise Murphy says she plans to treat the cycle as part of her training for a race she is due to compete in the following day. In general, participants are encouraged to cycle at their own pace with time to savour the scenic beauty of the Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle is one of a number of fundraising challenges Focus Ireland is involved with this summer to raise awareness of the homeless issue and funds for the organisation’s work. One of the upcoming challenges the charity is hosting is On The Move, an outdoor adventure challenge taking place from Friday 14 June – Sunday 16 June. The event invites participants to climb a famous Irish mountain such as Croagh Patrick or Carrauntoohil in aid of Focus Ireland or set themselves a hiking challenge of their choice.

Lorraine Toner said that On The Move and The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle challenges transcend physical achievement. She said, “They’re a statement of solidarity with those experiencing homelessness, a tangible manifestation of empathy in action. Volunteers not only raise vital funds for essential services but also foster awareness and understanding of the complex issues surrounding homelessness in Ireland. In this way, the events serve as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards a more compassionate and inclusive society. We’d like to encourage as many people as possible to sign up for On The Move and the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle for Focus Ireland and be part of the solution to ending homelessness.”

To find out more or to sign up for the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle or On The Move for Focus Ireland, go to: or

(Source: The Bril Building) 


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