About the Galway Cycle

Charity, Cycling and Craic!

The Galway Cycle is now into its 31st year and is going stronger then ever! Over the past 30 years over €1,000,000 euro has been raised for various Irish charities!

This section provides a brief overview into the history of the cycle and the various charities we have helped over the years as well as information on the current committee and sponsors for Galway Cycle 2018.

The Inception

The first ever “Galway Cycle” and its impact can be traced and measured back over many years.

It was 1987 when a small group of Clerical students of Saint Patrick’s College – Maynooth decided that they wanted to try and make a difference. A decision was made to organise a cycle that would start from the college gates and finish in Eyre Square – Galway. It was a basic principal but we knew what we wanted to do.

Why do this? – Two reasons:

  1. To set a challenge large enough that would entice people to sponsor us simply because of what would be involved
  2. To choose a deserving “Children’s Charity” (in Ireland) that would benefit from the much needed funds that we would raise

The overall aim – MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The first cycle event was a very small affair.  The sum total of the first ever Galway Cycle … approx. 8 cyclists and 1 support car!! While we did have stops, they were few and far between, and in turn with smaller numbers the pace was faster! The group arrived into Galway around 4 pm.

As the Cycle grew into becoming an annual event, the addition of the Young Christian Students (YCS) opened the event to all College students – both male and female. From this point on, the Cycle has continued to grow in numbers year on year!

As with today’s event – the cost of the Cycle in the early years was always an issue and, where possible, these costs were kept to a minimum. For years we stayed in the Salthill Parish Hall. It was dry, the floor was hard, it was cold at times in the sleeping bag – YES SLEEPING BAG! – but the craic was mighty!

There is one thing that hasn’t changed – The weather! It’s still as unpredictable as ever. In recent years we have been lucky, but then there was last year – it was a wash out on the way down, and bitter cold on the way home … A head wind and a chill of -12 on the home stretch made it a tough cycle. One previous year the cycle took place in early February….. this was to be the first and last. Why? Arriving into Kinnegad with icicles forming on the front of our Helmets wasn’t conducive to a pleasant cycle!

It was after this that the GC was changed to March. The intention being that the weather would be warmer!

There were also times when the cycle nearly didn’t take place. This was simple due to people moving on…..but with a very small core – the cogs kept turning.

Fast forward to present day – approx. 300 cyclist, 25 support vehicles, over 30 members of a support crew – all in one convoy.

We start together and more importantly……. we all finish together!

The basic principal of the Galway Cycle has always held true. Anyone who has been involved with the Cycle … in any way… will know exactly what I mean. It is for this reason that the GC is held in such fond affection by everyone who has been lucky enough to be involved.

The Galway Cycle has changed, touched and transformed so many peoples lives – but more importantly… “It has made THAT difference!”

The GC only makes “a difference” because of the special people involved.

Finally on behalf of all the charities – A very special heart felt thanks to you all……

Galway Cycle 2017 – 30 years and counting – Charity, Cycle, Craic.

Let’s keep her lit

Our Constitution

Governance in charities, and indeed in our charity partners is a key facet, and with this in mind, the Galway Cycle is in turn governed by a constitution, which is available to read here.

Previous Charity Partners


YearCharityAmount RaisedPresident
2017NRH FoundationSamantha Ward
2016Down Syndrome IrelandAaron D’Arcy
2015Irish Guide Dogs€115,000Therese Lynn
2014PWSAI€150,000Andrew Garrad
2013Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation€151,000Emma Kilgannon
2012Down Syndrome Ireland€150,000Donncha Gayer
2011Pieta House€83,000Shane Lynn
2010National Breast Cancer Research Institute€81,300Ciaran Pollard
2009Cystic Fybrosis Association of Ireland€78,000Eimear Ryan
2008Headstrong€80,000John Doyle & Dominic Meehan
2007Stepping Stones ABA School€81,000Shane Quigley
2006Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice€67,500Brian Casey
2005The Irish Kidney Association€36,000Anne Cullen
2004Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus€35,000Paul Mullally
2003Irish Society for Autism€30,000Peter McGuire
2002Enable Ireland€26,000Maire Fox & Michael McHugh
2001Temple Street Children’s Hospital€35,000Caroline Mannion, Fiona Hoare & Mary McLoughlin
2000Fighting Blindness€18,000John McCormack
1999Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children€16,500Eamonn Carroll
1998ISPCC€12,700Ger Griffin
1997Meningitis Research Foundation€12,700Michael Sheridan
1996GOAL€10,100John McGrath
1995Make A Wish Foundation€12,700Ronan Barry
1987-1994ISPCC€12,700Marie-Therese Kilmartin and others