Gardaí from the Clonmel district have set off on a 48-hour fundraising challenge which will see members walk, cycle and run in relays across a total of 3,000 kilometres until Sunday morning.

The event is designed to help two local causes and involves gardaí from across the district in south Tipperary.

A number of officers set off from the Cycologist cycle store this morning, for a 200 kilometre cycle around the area, while other gardaí and staff will take part in walks and runs during the coming 48-hours, with some due to depart from the local station later this morning.

They will complete half-marathons around the town. Sponsorship cards are available in the Garda station for anyone who wants to support the beneficiaries.

One of the beneficiaries is Heidi Griffin, a two-year-old girl from Clerihan, Co Tipperary.

Heidi has cerebral palsy and needs surgery in the United States to help her walk unaided and pain-free, as well as much support after her operation.

The participants are also raising money for C-Saw which is a local voluntary group which aims to raise awareness of suicide prevention and helps people who are vulnerable.

Inspector Dave Buckley of Clonmel Garda Station said: "Even if people were to donate the price of a cup coffee it would help us achieve our target and give all the participants a big lift,"

Among those taking part are district Superintendent William Leahy.