Tipperary athletes win 89 medals at Special Olympics Ireland Games

Aileen Hahesy

Reporter:

Aileen Hahesy

Andrew Kerr from Dundrum, who was a member of the gold medal winning Munster seven-a-side football team at the Special Olympics Games in Dublin.

Tipperary athletes brought home a haul of 89 medals from the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games that took place in Dublin last weekend. 

A total of 115 athletes from the Premier County competed for Munster in the four-day Games that concluded on Sunday. They won 52 gold medals, 24 silver medals, 13 bronze medals in swimming, athletics, football, equestrian skills, gymnastics and motor skills activity events. 

Most of Team Munster's Special Olympians from the south of the county train with Tipperary Special Olympics Club in Tipperary town, South Tipperary Tigers Special Olympics Club  and Scoil Aonghusa in Cashel. 

Among the gold medal winners was Team Munster’s youngest athlete 10 year-old JJ Ryan from Monard. The Scoil Aonghusa student won two golds in motor activities events. 

It was a very successful national games for the Cashel school, which had 12 athletes aged between 10 and 17 representing Munster in equestrian skills, track and field,swimming and motor skills activity events. The Scoil Aonghusa team won close to 20 gold medals and one silver medal. 

Five Co. Tipperary athletes were members of the gold medal winning seven-a-side soccer team. They included Darrell Needham, John Flynn and Andrew Kerr of Tipperary Special Olympics Club, Waterford Special Olympics Club member Donal Forristal from Carrick-on-Suir and Mallow Utd athlete Mark Fraher from Clonmel. 

Eoin O’Beara, regional director for Special Olympics Munster congratulated all the athletes who  represented Munster so well at the Games. "For many of our Team Munster athletes, the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games in Dublin were their first chance to compete on a national stage. To represent their region at these prestigious Games is, in itself, a phenomenal achievement.

He pointed out that the Munster athletes were returning home with memories and new friendships that will last a lifetime. Mr O'Beara thanked all the families, coaches and volunteers from across Munster, who all played their part in making these Games such a huge success.