Minister Donohoe gets National Bike Week into gear

29th May, 2015

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Friday) launched National Bike Week in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. The week-long event is taking place throughout Ireland from June 13th until June 21st, with the aim of encouraging more people to cycle every day and to demonstrate just how easy it is to switch to using the bike. This year Sligo has been chosen to host the opening event for Bike Week on Saturday June 13th.  A family bicycle festival is taking place in Cleveragh Regional Park. The Festivities will also include a pageant with a cycle theme within its central theatrical piece.


Speaking at the launch Minister Donohoe said: ‘I know from my own recent family holiday, where we cycled along the Great Western Greenway in County Mayo, the enjoyment that cycling can bring. I’m delighted to see so many family friendly events planned for Bike Week 2015 which I know will encourage people to consider cycling and I would urge people to visit the Bike Week website ( to find about their local events. Cycling is a convenient, healthy, cost effective and environmentally friendly way to get around. As a committed cyclist, and in my role as Minister for Transport, I am happy to see a steady upward trend in cycling as outline by an NTA report recently which states that the number of people cycling today is more than double that of 2006’.


“We now need to increase the numbers cycling to school to continue that growth. The number of school events taking place during Bike Week 2015 is crucial to achieving that goal. My Department is funding a new cycling standard “Cycle Right” that will pilot in schools this Autumn and which will be rolled out across 2016. I would urge parents to use the opportunities provided by Bike Week 2015 to get out on their bikes with their children and experience how much fun cycling can be.”


Cycling is growing in popularity throughout Ireland and has multiple benefits, particularly in improving health and fitness.  As a mode of commuting it is reliable and often quicker than a car trip.


The number of people cycling every day in Ireland has more than doubled in the last ten years. The last Census recorded a 10% increase in the number of commuters cycling each morning.  Men account for more than two thirds of those cycling to work each day (29, 075 of 39,803 cycling to work each day are men according to Census 2011 figures).   The same 2011 Census also revealed how, for the first time ever, the number of women driving to work each day exceeded that of men.


National Bike Week 2015 includes hundreds of free cycling events throughout the country.


This year’s events include family fun cycles, bike care and safety skills training, a workshop in Cloughjordan in Tipperary on how to make your own bike from recycled materials, heritage cycles including one in Galway, aptly named ‘Slí na gCaisleáin’ (the way of the castles) which takes in seven castles in its route. Other events include mountain bike skills training in Barrow, Co Carlow and Ballyhoura, Co Limerick, a week long bike festival in The Phoenix Park that includes a bicycle themed film festival and much more.


All Bike Week events are free to the public and open to people of all ages and cycling abilities. A complete listing of events taking place throughout the country can be found by logging on to




Editor’s Notes


Bike Week is an initiative of the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport.  The aim of Bike Week is to raise awareness of cycling and to encourage more people to take up this healthy, low cost and environmentally friendly way of making shorter trips.  Bike Week events are organised by local authorities, community groups and cycling groups around the country.  Events will be taking place in every county.


The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is committed to the promotion of cycling as a key means to reduce the country’s reliance on the private car.  Reducing car use will reduce carbon and other emissions from transport and will reduce congestion on our roads.


The 2011 census showed that over 200, 000 people travelled less than 4km by car on their daily commute to work, school or college.  A 4km trip would take 10 to 15 minutes to cycle.