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Cannonball convoy attracts thousands to Westport

The supercars were allowed to drive down Westport’s Bridge Street the wrong way as part of Cannonball 2011.
The supercars were allowed to drive down Westport’s Bridge Street the wrong way as part of Cannonball 2011.? Pic: Conor McKeown

Cannonball’s colourful convoy attracts thousands to Westport’s windswept streets

Áine Ryan

ROARING winds and bad weather failed to stop over 12,000 people descending on Westport last Saturday evening for the Cannonball super car extravaganza. Despite the stormy conditions and the fact that the convoy of cars rolled into Wesport about an hour later than scheduled (circa 7.30pm) the streets were lined by people of all ages to witness this charity event for Barrettstown.
There was one near nasty incident when one of the cars seemed to lose control on Bridge Street. The rear of the car veered very close to spectators but thankfully no one was injured.
Sponsored by Stobart Ireland, this year’s event raised €150,000 for the charity, which is committed to helping rebuild the lives of children who have had cancer.  That brings the total amount raised so far – since the foundation of the charity three years ago by Naas businessman, Alan Bannon – to €385,000.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Enda Conboy, one of the organisers, confirmed that there was a great atmosphere in Westport.
“Westport was just fantastic. It was packed and while we didn’t reach our target of 20,000 people, despite the bad weather there were up to 13,000 people waiting for us.”
He confirmed that Boyzone’s Shane Lynch was in the convoy driving a Mercedes AMG.
On Friday morning last, Taoiseach Enda Kenny dropped the starting flag at Dublin’s Merrion Square before the three-day event set off around the country.
Such classy models as Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Bentley and Mustang could be seen in the colourful convoy.
EVERY week three children are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland. However, due to the ever-improving treatment process childhood cancer survival rates will have increased to 90% by the end of this decade. Barretstown is a Kildare-based camp uniquely designed for children who have been affected by a serious illness, primarily cancer, and their families. Barretstown, which is 96% voluntary funded, works to assist in the cancer recovery process through activity based therapy.

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