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


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