This year’s Cannonball returned in fine fashion and our features writer Justin Delaney was on hand to soak up the atmosphere.
On the 9th of September the action-packed supercar spectacle, kicked off from Malahide Castle in an effort to raise much needed funds for The HOPE Foundation. Cannonball, fuelled by milesPLUS from Circle K, is the largest organised road trip in Europe and this year the event had some 215 car entries including cars from Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin Porsche, Rolls Royce, Bentley and Maserati.
Novelty cars play a big part in Cannonball also and this years event had the first ever Ecto-1 Ghostbusters car built in Ireland proudly presented by Galway Bay Brewery. The build commenced with a 1960 Cadillac and took 5 years to transform into Ecto-1 including the iconic roof rack, Proton Packs, Ecto Goggles, P.K.E. Meters, and a slew of Ghost Traps. The car is 23 ft long with a straight piped 6.4 litre short block V8 motor. For Cannonball it was fitted with a jaw dropping laser light show, smoke machines and full PA system to keep viewers entertained. Shadowing the Ghostbusters Ecto-1 was a Bespoke Land Rover Defender support vehicle complete with Slimer mounted to the front and the famous Delorean from Back To The Future.
Aside from the various and many Circle K fuel stops the rally stopped for lunch in The Blue Haven Kinsale in Co Cork before moving on to the Brehon Hotel in Killarney in Co Kerry for its first overnight stay. On Saturday September 10th the convoy left Killarney and stopped for lunch at The Oslo Bar in Salthill Co Galway before travelling onwards to Sligo town for the second finish line and overnight stay. On Sunday September 11th Rosses Point Sligo was to be the start line before a lunch stop at Kilronan Castle and dramatic final finish line in Trim Co. Meath.
The event has already raised €1,298,779 for Irish charities and, this year, the official charity of Cannonball was once again The HOPE Foundation who are doing incredible work with the street children of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in India. HOPE funds and operates over 60 projects including 11 child protection homes, a hospital, an ambulance, counselling, food and nutrition, education, healthcare and the restoration of childhoods to children. See https://www.hopefoundation.ie/cannonball/
By way of a little background Cannonball was founded by Kildare businessman Alan Bannon and the benefit to the host towns for this event is estimated at €2,567,000 per year. Cannonball was fuelled by milesPLUS from Circle K as the main headline Sponsor for 2022. The Tour Sponsor this year is Apache Pizza and Cannonball official partners include Galway Bay Brewery, Manhattan Popcorn, Bonavox, Karl Goodwin Motors, AB Signs, and BMW Ireland. After the three day drive, Cannonball raised close on €150,000 for the HOPE Foundation meaning in just two years Cannonball has raised over a quarter of million euro for this charity. Cannonball remains the at the pinnacle of Irish supercar events with people who share the same passion for cars, business and raising money for a great causes.