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Cycle will remember Tipperary girl who passed away suddenly aged nine

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Cycle will remember Tipperary girl who passed away suddenly aged nine

A cycling fundraiser in memory of Clonmel's Sarah Dillon takes place on February 23 and 24

A group of leisure cyclists will gather at the Clonmel Park Hotel to embark on a two-day cycle to honour the memory of beautiful Sarah Dillon who passed away suddenly in April 2014, aged just nine.

The cycle, taking place on February 23 and 24, is organised each year as a training spin for the annual Tour de Munster four-day cycle in aid of the six Munster county branches of Down Syndrome Ireland. 

Sarah, along with her parents Trisha McGrath and Brian Dillon, have been an integral part of both events. “Sarah touched so many lives in a very special way that it was only fitting that her beautiful memory should be honoured and remembered," says Tour de Munster organiser Paul Sheridan.

An open invitation is extended to all cycling enthusiasts to join the cycle and share the journey to honour Sarah’s memory.

There are two main routes on Saturday. On the 60km route, cyclists will travel from Clonmel Park Hotel to Fethard, Cashel and back to the Park Hotel via Rosegreen and Clerihan. 

The 90km cycle will follow a route from Clonmel to Fethard, Killenaule, Dualla, Cashel, Cahir, Ardfinnan and back to Clonmel, with a lunch option in Cashel. 

On Sunday, the cyclists will proceed from Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir, through Rathgormack and back to Clonmel in a 65km loop, with an option to climb Seskin Hill. 

Registration, which begins at 9am each day, is free. Voluntary donations to Down Syndrome Ireland’s Tipperary branch will be gratefully accepted. Both stages will commence at 10am. 

All interested cyclists are requested to check out the Down Syndrome Tipperary Facebook page for cycle routes and further details.

Down Syndrome Tipperary is very grateful to the Which Way Now Crew for their stewarding and marshalling of this event each year. Thanks are also extended to The Bike Doctor, Richie Burke and Dee Houlihan for their help along the route. Sureprint has once again sponsored posters and flyers advertising Sarah's Cycle and for this the organisers are very grateful.

Down Syndrome Ireland is a voluntary organisation and its main objective is to ensure that each individual has the opportunity to develop to his/her full potential. Services provided include speech and language therapy, educational tutoring, fitness and art therapy, cookery, computer and dance classes, along with a host of supports and resources for members and their families. This all takes funding and through the support and great work of the cyclists more people with Down Syndrome will be helped in a practical way. 

"Sarah was so full of life. She loved to dance and was a member of the On Your Toes Dance Group in Clonmel, winning many trophies and she loved the costumes, the glitz and the sparkle of it all. Sarah was so proud of herself having mastered the one-handed cartwheel," organisers say.

"She also played football with Clonmel Town’s Football for All and was a member of the Dolphin Swimming Club. 

“We will cherish the memory of Miss Sarah Dillon, with her cheeky grin and sparkle in her eye, and remember to speak her name and celebrate her very short but very full life."