31 Mar 2019

Local Talent on Show at home and abroad

In Ireland we have a long and quite extraordinary traditionof volunteering. Earlier this month I was privileged to experience this qualityat its best at the Special Olympics World Games 2019 which were held in AbuDhabi. Of all the 170 nations who took part, Ireland was the only country whoalso sent volunteers to assist with the proceedings. It was wonderful to meetsome of these volunteers and thank them personally for the magnificent work theydo. Without them, the athletes would not be able to perform as magnificently asthey do.

And do they perform! Team Ireland secured 86 medals over thesix days of competition with an impressive 30 Gold, 29 Silver and 27 Bronzemedals! Our athletes also secured many placement ribbons and personal bests.The passion, commitment and enthusiasm of our athletes inspire us all. It wasgreat to get to meet some of them and chat to them about their sports. Localheroes include Rachel Murray and Thomas Coyle from the Dundrum Arch Club.Rachel won a bronze medal for her fantastic rhythmic gymnastics routine! Rachelalso plays for the De la Salle Palmerston Eagles team who no doubt missed herwhile she was representing Ireland in Abu Dhabi.

Closer to home, the Stepaside St Patrick’s Day parade was ajoy to watch. The floats on display from local clubs and organisations such as ThreeRock Panorama, Naomh Olaf, Stars of Erin, Wayside Celtic, Stepaside FC and StMary’s Boys FC (to name but  a few) werebrilliantly presented and executed. Thank you to our local volunteers for theirhard work in organising yet another successful St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Other heroic role models who have inspired recently was EmmaByrne, hero of the fight for equality in soccer, who won the Hall of Fame awardat the FAI International Award Ceremony on St Patrick’s Day. Emma has won anastonishing 134 caps for Ireland.

And of course – our wonderful Katie Taylor just keeps onastonishing us, as she won her third belt this month and is looking to claim afourth in June. Katie currently has three of the four belts in the lightweightdivision and so is well on the way to becoming the undisputed world champion.

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