THE Cannonball Ireland Supercar Road Trip charity tour is set to return to Irish roads in September.
Featuring top marques like Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Porsche, Aston Martin and Maserati, Cannonball Ireland organisers claim that this annual cross-county convoy of drool-worthy metal is the largest organised 'road trip' in Europe.
The three-day event offers spectators a chance to witness these prestigious machines up close in the host towns along its seven county-spanning route.
Founded in 2017 by Kildare businessman Alan Bannon, it's claimed that Cannonball Ireland has already raised over €1.5m for Irish charities. Mr Bannon also estimates that the financial benefit to the host towns featured in the event is around €2,567,000 per year.
This year's Cannonball will run from September 15 to 17 and car fans can expect to find a variety of free rally-related festivities at each stop, including Brazilian dancers, live DJs and bands.
The Cannonballers will be dressed up as some familiar screen heroes, and this year organisers are calling on spectators to join in as well, with prizes for the best fancy dress.
The official Cannonball Ireland charity for 2023 is The Jack and Jill Children's Foundation, an Irish charity that funds and delivers in-home nursing care, respite support and end-of-life care for children up to the age of six who have highly complex and life-limiting medical conditions.
Alie Sheridan, head of fundraising at Jack and Jill Children's Foundation, says: "This support and tremendous drive from all the Cannonball crew will raise vital funds and awareness for Jack and Jill, at a time when the demand for our service is higher than ever.
"That sense of community and excitement around Cannonball 2023 is a real boost for our care community and the 400 children our nurses support, right across the country.
"Along the Cannonball's seven-county route this year, there are 216 families currently being supported by Jack and Jill through hundreds of local nurses, carers and volunteers who keep our service going.
"We are all looking forward to an exciting weekend that puts the fun and fuel into fundraising, with every €18 donation supporting one hour of home nursing care for a local child and family."
On Thursday September 14, the Cannonball Ireland crew will roll into Malahide Castle, with cars due to start arriving from 6pm. The following morning at 10am, the convoy will depart Malahide Castle and blaze a trail to Cavan for a lunch stop at the Slieve Russell Hotel and Country Club.
The first finish line and overnight stay will be in Ballina, with cars due to arrive to the finish line on the Quay at 6pm to help celebrate the town's 300th birthday.
On Saturday September 16, the convoy will leave the Quay in Ballina at 10.30am to travel to the Salthill Hotel in Co Galway for lunch at 1pm, before journeying onwards to Pery Square in Limerick city for the second finish line and overnight stay.
The following morning, the Cannonballers will leave Limerick at 10.30am for a fuel stop at the Circle K in Fermoy, then motor onwards to Cork for lunch at the Fota Island Resort prior to setting off on the final leg of this year's event, which will finish in Kilkenny city at 6pm.
See cannonball.ie for further information.