Rev-Up4DSI 2015

Rev-Up4DSI 2015

Rev-Up4DSI participant Andrew Dunne.
Pic: Andrew Dunne

Get revved up for Down Syndrome Ireland this May!

The tenth annual Rev-Up4DSI will be raising funds for Down Syndrome Ireland with a 1000km motorcycle ride around Ireland over the May bank holiday weekend.

The first Rev-Up4DSI took place in 2006, after two fathers of young girls born with Downs Syndrome met. Michael McCormick and Aidan Lynam set about setting up a national motorcycle ride around the country to raise funds for Downs Syndrome Ireland, and the first Rev-Up4DSI was far more successful than they had anticipated it would be, raising over €200,000. The annual event has raised over €1.1 million in total for DSI.

Rev-Up4DSI participant Andrew Dunne hails from Ringsend, but has spent the past three decades further afield.

“I am originally from Ringsend and come from a family of ten. My mother, Annie, is 86 years old. I have 32 nieces and nephews, and at last count 16 great nieces and nephews. I probably have that wrong, so my sisters will kill me, but honestly, it’s hard to keep up with all the news since my wife kidnapped me over to the Northside! My family members are also great fundraisers themselves, so we all enjoy doing things for other people and they are always very supportive of me.

“I left Ireland in 1985 during the recession to travel with my then girlfriend, Linda Jackson for about a year. We married in Denmark in 1991. We eventually returned to Ireland in 1999 with our then two year old son, Lonan Dunne, who was born in Boston, USA, after living 14 years abroad. We live in Donaghmede, Dublin 13 and celebrate being home 16 years at the end of March 2015.”

Andrew has now taken part in nine of the 10 Rev-up4DSI fundraisers. He has been an avid fundraiser for the best part of 30 years, but is still humble about his achievements.

“While we lived in Berlin, Germany, (1985-1992), I did the Berlin Marathon and the Berlin French 25km run and collected funds for the Children hospital in Crumlin. I met one of our great athletes, Eamon Coughlan when I came home to the hospital to drop off the money that I and other Irish lads had raised. It was a great honour.

“Then we moved to Boston, USA (1992-1999). During that time I raised money for the Brain Research Foundation and the Blind Council, participating in both the Great Wall of China and their Amazon, Brazil trips. My wife and family members raised funds for Paraguayan Indians through a friend of ours who is a doctor of tropical medicine based in Ireland and I visited them with him during the trip to Paraguay in 1996.”

This year’s Rev-Up4DSI will be taking place on May 2-4. Around 150 bikers from around the country will participate, and while Andrew will be riding solo, many will be accompanied by pillion passengers. The route is kept a secret from participants until the day, but there will also be a crew of mechanics and repair vans on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly no matter what!

By Aimée Mac Leod