To mark the start of Haiti Week 2012, Hibernia College founder and local Mayo man, Dr Seán Rowland, joined An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former Munster and Irish rugby player Mick Galwey, and various other top businessmen in Ireland to launch the third annual Cycle4Haiti charity cycle.
More than 500 cyclists will take to the streets for the 2012 event including leading Irish business figures such as Donal Connell, CEO, An Post; Michael Dawson, One4all CEO and co-founder of the Soul of Haiti Foundation; Leslie Buckley, co-founder of Haven; Michael Carey, chairman, Bord Bia; along with teams from O2, Ernst and Young, and many more businesses nationwide. A number of familiar faces including TV3 presenter Aidan Cooney and Munster and Ireland rugby legend Mick Galwey have also committed to the cycle.
Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, “As a cycling enthusiast myself, I am delighted to launch this year’s Cycle4Haiti and to mark the start of Haiti Week 2012. It is wonderful to see so many of Ireland’s business leaders and sportspersons coming together to raise funds for such a worthy cause.”
The Soul of Haiti Foundation was born out of a challenge set to the finalists in the Ernst & Young Irish Entrepreneur of the Year Award to exercise their strategic expertise to help improve selected communities in Haiti's economic and social circumstances in a practical, sustainable, manner.
In June 2007 and 2008, some 70 entrepreneurs and business leaders from Ireland travelled to Haiti and they now have eight projects in the country. Agricultural business activity forms the nucleus of the initiative but they are also involved in some humanitarian initiatives that can be implemented using their professional business and project management skills.