Irish Republican News · August 17, 2012
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Irish athletes cheered by large crowds


Ireland’s Olympians for 2012, including gold medal winner Katie Taylor, were welcomed home like heroes on Dawson Street in Dublin on Wednesday.

In a ceremony to welcome home and congratulate Ireland’s 66 athletes, 31 were on hand to witness the crowd of over five thousand in Ireland’s capital.

Wet and rainy weather didn’t dampen the spirits in and around Dublin as Ireland’s athletes, including five medal winners, made their return home from London.

Former Olympic heroes Michael Carruth, Ronnie Delany and Kenny Egan were present, as well as a number of the torch bearers, including the father of the late boxer Darren Sutherland.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny joined in on the celebrations and welcomed the athletes to a special reception later at Farmleigh House following the Dawson Street welcomes. He said the team had been “champions for the nation.”

Katie Taylor said at the Dawson Street welcome that “The support has been incredible. I’m a bit nervous standing up here in front of everyone. We just want to thank everyone for support.”

“We wouldn’t have got these medals without the support, so thanks everyone. Hopefully some young girls coming up are going to be even better than me there’ll be a few Olympic champions out there,” said Taylor.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams extended his congratulations to Taylor for her “tremendous victory” as well as to the others medal winners, Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Cian O Connor and John Joe Nevin.

The Sinn Féin leader commended the success of all of the Irish athletes -- including Coleraine medal winners Richard and Peter Chambers and Alan Campbell, rowers who competed under the British flag.

“All of our athletes have performed exceptionally during this Olympic games. They have done Ireland proud and have provided sporting role models for our young people. The Irish people are hugely proud of their achievements.”

Sinn Féin sports spokeswoman Sandra McLellan said the fact that Irish athletes won five medals “shows that with access to adequate financial support and proper training facilities Irish athletes can compete with the best in the world and win.

“For a small island to have achieved such success is testament to the commitment, discipline and athletic ability of the athletes concerned.”

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© 2012 Irish Republican News