Stars on their way to Buncrana for autism

Boyzone singer Keith Duffy supporting the 32 marathons in 32 days raising funds for Autism.'Picture by Brian Little words by Eleanor 25/3/10
Boyzone singer Keith Duffy supporting the 32 marathons in 32 days raising funds for Autism.'Picture by Brian Little words by Eleanor 25/3/10
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Buncrana will be a hive of activity this Thursday as sports stars and entertainers unite to raise money for autism.

Former Manchester United stars Norman Whiteside, David May, Keith Gillespie, and Clayton Blackmore will be joined by Irish Action Autism patron and Boyzone singer Keith Duffy at the iCARE centre in Ballymacarry during the final leg of their Irish Autism Action’s Big Red Bike Ride - a 400 mile cycle from Mizen Head to Malin Head.

Former Manchester United star Norman Whiteside

Former Manchester United star Norman Whiteside

The celebrities, who will be joined by about 80 other cyclists, are expected at the Inishowen Autism Centre at 10.30am on Thursday, and everyone is encouraged to come down and show their support.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ iCARE chairperson Ros Brennan said is everyone is more than welcome to come along to their centre and cheer on the cyclists.

She said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the cyclists to the iCARE and even happier Keith and the gang have chosen iCARE as a stop off point for the cycle.

“We can’t wait to meet all the cyclists and especially the Manchester United legends. Hopefully plenty of people make it to the centre to welcome and the cheer on the cyclists as they set off on the final stage of their long journey.”

The former Coronation Street Star officially opened the iCARE respite and activity centre in December 2007.

“We’ve got to cover 400 miles in six days,” explained Duffy. “It’s a challenge, and padded cycling shorts are a must, but we’ll have the support there to make sure everyone gets through.”

He added: “We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal,” stated Duffy. “We aim to raise €120,000 euro and with the hugely generous support of our sponsors, MACE, McCabe’s Pharmacies Eddie Stobart’s and Ridley Bikes, as the pedal power of our cyclists, we hope to get there.”

The gang started their journey in Cork and travelled up the west coast from Cork, into Kerry, Clare, Galway, through Sligo and finally Malin Head.

Once the group has reached the Inishowen landmark, they will cycle back to Derry for Ireland’s Euro 2012 game with Spain to be hosted by Norman Whiteside.

All the funds raised during this event will be used to make a difference to the lives of children with autism in Manchester and Ireland.

iCARE will also be hosting a coffee morning on Thursday at the Centre from 10:30am onwards, everyone is invited to come along and support their worthy cause.