Silver medal winning Special Olympian to be honoured by his hometown

Aileen Hahesy

Aileen Hahesy

Carrick-on-Suir soccer player Gary Tobin is being honoured by the mayors of Carrick-on-Suir and Waterford City for his success at the World Special Olympics Games.

The 38-year-old athlete from Treacy Park and four teammates on the silver medal winning Irish Special Olympics soccer team were accorded a reception by the Mayor of Waterford City Cllr Pat Hayes at City Hall in Waterford on Tuesday night.

Gary and the four other Irish soccer team members all play with the Waterford Special Olympics soccer team.

His Special Olympics success will be marked in his hometown by a mayoral reception hosted by Carrick-on-Suir’s new Mayor Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald at Carrick-on-Suir Town Hall on Tuesday, August 2.

Boxer Dean O’Gorman from Tinhalla, who recently won a European tournament in London, will be honoured at the same mayoral reception.

Cllr Fitzgerald and other members of the Town Council extended votes of congratulations to Gary at the local authority’s July meeting last week.

Gary, who plays midfield on the Irish Special Olympics team, was Carrick-on-Suir and South Tipperary’s only representative on the Irish team that competed in the World Games.

He received a hero’s welcome home to his native Treacy Park from family, friends and neighbours on his return from the Games in Athens earlier this month.

His sister Helen Quinlan was among a contingent of Gary’s close relatives, who travelled to Athens to cheer him on.

“We are all as proud as punch of Gary. He just took it all in his stride even though he found the conditions very hot in Athens and he had a very early start some mornings with some of his matches starting as early as 9.15am,” Helen told The Nationalist

The Irish soccer team beat India and Australia and drew to Great Britain at the World Games. The team recorded their only defeat in their first match against Turkey.

The silver medal in soccer brings to eight the number of medals Gary has won at World Special Olympics Games. He previoulsy won three gold, two silver and two bronze medals for swimming at the 1995 Special Olympics in Connecticut in the US and the 2003 Special Olympics in Dublin.