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UPDATE: Down Syndrome Limerick continues their 15-day 21km challenge

DSL 21km Half Marathon kicks off May 25 and runs until June 14. People across the world are participating. Pictured above is one of the event’s young participants.

UPDATE: Down Syndrome Limerick continues their 15-day 21km challenge

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Sophia DiBattista

Down Syndrome Limerick’s 21km challenge is still going on after starting on Monday, May 25 until Sunday, June 14. The 15-day half marathon challenge raises awareness for the services DSL provides.




Down Syndrome Limerick (DSL) is a charity that accommodates children and adults with Down Syndrome in the Limerick area. The organisation is run on a voluntary basis and provides essential services in the social, educational and developmental spectrums of many lives. DSL also links parents to peer support channels that offer advice if they recently had a child with Down Syndrome.

The DSL 21km will help spread awareness about Down Syndrome and the organisation’s services. So, instead of calling off the event, they decided to make it a virtual race at home for everyone to participate. 

While the event goes on for 15 days, the distance people run or walk each day does not matter. As long as the challenge and the total 21km is completed, then that is all that counts. Participants can keep track of their process through the Your Virtual Race app, which is available for all types of mobile devices. 

This isn’t the only activity DSL has been providing. Recently they have been sharing videos of two of their members Barry and Fionn Donnelly. The father and son duo have been posting videos of themselves singing along to songs and playing the ukelele. Their cover of Fred Astaire’s “Cheek to Cheek” made it big and landed a spot on RTE News’s 5 Positive Things.

Mary Murphy, Admin of Down Syndrome Limerick, discussed how the organisation had to cancel many lpanned events saying, “As with all charities our fundraising efforts have had to be cancelled (our annual Rock Your Socks for Down syndrome day, (although we did a virtual one), annual ceile, annual church gates) a golf classic and a Three Counties cycle to name a few.”

“We really want to continue offering virtual therapy and if possible re-open our doors so we need funds to do this.  We have organised a Virtual Run/Walk and it can be as competitive or not as the participant chooses.  It is suitable for families too.”

“People just need to log on to, register their family or just themselves. Then download the app being sure to use it and save their run/walk each time. Everyone receives a virtual bib & a medal at the end. We would love pictures of families with their bibs, please tag us #ThisIsMeSupportingDSL. Participants can feel free to challenge others to join too,” Mary added.

Cllr Sarah Kiely is now participating in the DSL 21km challenge.

Even Cllr. Sarah Kiely is joining the efforts to support the fundraiser. About Cllr. Kiely’s arrival, Down Syndrome Limerick said, “We are delighted to have Cllr. Sarah Kiely on board for the DSL 21K. Join Sarah and accept the challenge today!”

Cllr Sarah Kiely said, “Great charity, I’ve just signed up, it’s only €20 and will get you off your backside for a great cause! Who’s in? Let’s make a race of it and if you beat me, I have to cook for you!”




For more information on the DSL 21km, click here.

For more stories on Down Syndrome Limerick, click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.