Former patients get behind Ring of Kerry Cycle in aid of Community Air Ambulance

Three cyclists who were airlifted to hospital in separate incidents last year have appealed to people to get on their bikes and raise funds for the Irish Comm-unity Air Ambulance. The organisation has been chosen as one of the official beneficiaries for the 2022 Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle.
The 175km event returns on Saturday, July 2nd, starting and ending in Killarney. Registration opened this week and is limited to 8,000 participants. Cyclists are invited to select one of six charities to represent on the cycle.
The Irish Community Air Ambulance is Ireland’s only charity-funded Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Air Ambulance. It works in partnership with the National Ambulance Service and responds to serious incidents and medical emergencies from its base in Rathcool in Co Cork. Each helicopter mission costs an average of €3,500, all of which has to be raised or donated.
Barry Cunningham, Diarmuid O’Donovan and Darren Lynch are among more than 500 people aided by the Community Air Ambulance during 2021. All three sustained serious injuries after coming off their bikes in North Cork, West Kerry and West Cork. They’re encouraging cyclists to register and take part in the Ring of Kerry on behalf of the organisation.
Barry from Dromahane was mountain biking on a forestry trail in North Cork in March of 2021 when he fell off his bike. He broke his wrist and several ribs, “I was on my own at the top of this mountain, I couldn’t see houses, roads or anything. I was in a lot of pain and was finding it difficult to breathe. However, when I saw the helicopter approaching it was a fantastic feeling. There was a huge sense of relief when the chopper landed next to me and I knew that everything would be okay. This year will be my 10th year in a row participating in the Ring of Kerry. The distance can seem daunting but the atmosphere plus a bit of training in advance will carry you through. I hope that as many cyclists as possible will choose to participate on behalf of the Irish Community Air Ambulance this July. We are all vulnerable as cyclists but there is immense peace of mind knowing that the Air Ambulance is available if you find yourself in a serious situation like I did.”
The Irish Community Air Ambulance was tasked to 512 missions in 14 counties during 2021, its busiest year since the service first launched in July 2019. The organisation relies entirely on fund-raisers and donations, it expects that it will cost €2.1million to run the organisation in 2022.
CEO of the Irish Comm-unity Air Ambulance, Micheál Sheridan said, “The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle is a huge fundraiser and we are honoured to have been chosen as one of the official beneficiaries. We have set an ambitious goal of raising €100,000 which would pay for our fuel for an entire year. However, we need cyclists to sign up and select the Irish Community Air Ambu-lance when they register. We would love to see companies, groups, cycling clubs and individuals getting involved and taking on the 175km route for us. There is huge demand for places and entries are capped at 8,000 cyclists so we would encourage people to register as soon as possible. You will be helping us to bring hope in emergency situations, we’re tasked to treat the most seriously ill and injured patients, often in rural locations like Co Kerry.”
To register for the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle in aid of the Irish Community Air Ambulance visit participant who opts to cycle on behalf of the Air Ambulance will receive a unique pair of ICAA cycling socks as part of their fundraisers’ welcome pack.
Any companies interested in registering a team of employees in the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle should contact