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Claremorris went car-azy for Cannonball

Monday, 11th September, 2017 8:30pm

Claremorris went car-azy for Cannonball

Fr. John Kenny - aka Kylo Ren - pictured with a Belcarra group at the Cannonball Run in Claremorris. Front, from left: Orlaith Mongan, Fr. Kenny, Cian Mongan, Ailbhe Mongan, Ben Cunningham and Finn O'Connor. Back: Jarlath Mongan, Roisin O'Connor and Fiona Mongan. Photo: Michael Donnelly

CANNONBALL arrived back to Mayo - and to Claremorris for the first time - on Saturday last.

With the support of Mayo County Council and with thanks to Councillors Richard Finn and Tom Connolly, the south Mayo town welcomed top marque cars such as McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls-Royce and Bentley as they blazed a trail through the streets, with over 20,000 thousand people flocking to the town for the spectable.

The gleaming convoy of 190 supercars and novelty cars - worth an estimated €32 million - drove more than 1,000 kilometres of Irish open roads. Forty per cent of Cannonball entries came from outside of Ireland and this year an exciting team with 10 supercars arrived from Dubai.

Triple platinum artist Paddy Casey took to the outdoor stage in Claremorris with a free concert for spectators, delivering massive hits like ‘Saints and Sinners’, ‘Everybody Wants’ and ‘Whatever Gets You Thru’.

The Hone Energy transformer truck, a gigantic mobile rig that came in from The Netherlands to Ireland for the first time ever, transformed into a three-story children's play zone, keeping young attendees amused. Hone, the revolutionary new renewable energy provider based in Kiltimagh, was the Cannonball main headline sponsor for 2017.

Also headlining this year and took to the streets ahead of the Cannonball Convoy were the Audionetworks Action Heroes and Robots. Transformer supercar legend Bumblebee was body popping and meeting fans along with his co-star, the 12ft Robot Ted, and action hero Batman. Optimus Prime also joined Cannonball this year in his gigantic 'vehicle mode'.

The Cannonball official grid girls and Brazillian dancers set temperatures soaring, and the Monster Truck had fire breathers and some great tunes to get the party started. Doc and Marty McFly were Back to the Future this year in the fully kitted-out Delorean and the notorious NYPD, German Polizei and colourful Cannonballers in crazy costumes added to the melee.

Spectators got up close and personal with 190 of the finest cars on the planet and enjoyed the unique festival atmosphere that Cannonball is renowned for.

Now in its ninth year, Cannonball has raised almost €900,000 for Irish charities and this year, proceeds will go to Make-a-Wish Ireland.

Cannonball is the brainchild of Kildare businessman and AB Signs proprietor, Alan Bannon, and the benefit to the Irish economy of this event is estimated at €2,567,000 per year. With two national awards and four nominations this year, the supercar event shows no signs of slowing down and is now gearing up for the US in October and Japan in 2019. See www.cannonball.ie for further details, routes and events.

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