Bill Watson, Miriam O'Callaghan, Andrew McGinley and Mark Nugent are pictured at the launch of the As Darragh Did fundraising cycling event. Credit: Robbie Reynolds

As Darragh Did charity cycling event to pass through Midlands this month

Midlands residents will get a chance to see a major fundraising cycling event passing through their areas at the end of the month in support of As Darragh Did, a charity set up by bereaved father Andrew McGinley to remember his children.

RTE star Miriam O’Callaghan was on hand today (Wednesday) to formally launch the 2023 Galway Cycle which is named after Darragh McGinley, who, along with his brother Conor and sister Carla, left this world just over three years ago and supports local community clubs, societies and projects.

Those living along the old Galway road will see the event, which is hosted by Maynooth Students for Charity, over the weekend of Friday, March 31 to Sunday, April 2.

The Galway Cycle sees hundreds of cyclists making their way from the Co Kildare college to Galway and back over the last weekend in March and has taken place every year since 1987 (with the exception of 2020) and raised almost €2 million for a variety of children’s charities along the way.

The event will see a huge convoy of cyclists and support crew making their way from Maynooth University to Galway on the Friday, and cycling back to Maynooth on the Sunday, a distance of 200kms each way.

Darragh passed away on January 24, 2020 with his brother Conor and sister Carla. The founder of the charity, their dad Andrew Mc Ginley, wants to remember all three of his children by the promises he made to them.

Darragh had asked Andrew to get involved with Rathcoole Boys as a coach for the under 10 team he played for. Andrew promised he would and is currently coaching there.

Andre stated: “Darragh participated in everything locally from drama and art to hurling and soccer.

“Whatever was going on, Darragh got involved. In his memory I founded this charity to help get people involved in their local communities too….as Darragh did. Our charity cannot succeed in achieving its purpose without your help and support, so please help us, please support us and please get involved as Darragh did.”

Miriam O’Callaghan said that she was very pleased to be present to launch the Galway Cycle 2023 in aid of As Darragh Did.

“The work done by this charity is very important and is a very fitting way for Andrew to remember his children," she said. "And best of luck to all the cyclists. I'm sure there will be plenty of sore backsides after 400kms!"

Mr McGinley urged any experienced cyclists who wish to take part to sign up for the event, and welcomed any donations by non-cyclists.

“The Galway Cycle by Maynooth Students for Charity is such an institution as a charity fundraiser and I’m so grateful to them for the help they will give this very special charity.

“The vision of the charity is to advance community welfare and development through the provision of support and funding to local clubs, societies, groups and projects to enable them to increase participation and to promote social inclusion and positive integration.

“And with its long history and amazing record of fundraising, the Galway Cycle certainly lives up to that vision," concluded Mr McGinley.

Also present at the launch was Maynooth man Mark Nugent who will take part in his own unique Galway Cycle.

A veteran of numerous Galway Cycles, Mark is a hand cyclist and will leave from Howth on the evening of Tuesday, March 28 with his own band of supporting cyclists and arrive in Galway the same day as everyone else.

His trip is divided into four stages, stopping in Maynooth, Athlone, Oranmore and Galway city centre.

“I’ll take a bit longer to get there, but I’ll be there for the craic in Galway for the weekend,” Nugent said.

For more information or to register to take part in the event, see and