Though we have no one from Tipperary competing in the Olympic Games in London during the next few weeks there are some who do have a Tipperary connection one way or other;
Fionnuala Britton is from Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow and competes in the 5000m, 10,000m and 3000m steeplechase. This is Fionnuala’s second Olympics, she also competed in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She is the reigning European cross country champion. Her uncle Ernan Britton is principal at the Patrician Presentation Secondary School in Fethard, and he lives in Lisronagh between Fethard and Clonmel.
Deirdre Ryan is from Ballinteer, Dublin and competes in the high jump. This is Deirdre’s first Olympic Games and she holds the Irish high jump record with 1.95m. She finished sixth in the high jump at the World Championships in 2011 at Daegu, South Korea. Her father PJ Ryan is native of O’Brien Street, Tipperary Town and attended the Abbey CBS. His brother Val still lives in Tipperary Town and his other brother Joe is living in Kilcommon.
Darren O’Neill is from Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny and competes in boxing in the middleweight division. He has won the Irish senior middleweight boxing title for the last four years. Darren also won an U16 and U21 All-Ireland hurling title with Kilkenny and two Irish senior college hurling titles with St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny. His brother Aidan O’Neill is a teacher in Templemore and lives in Thurles, and helps out with training at Thurles Boxing Club. This is Darren’s first time competing in the Olympic Games.
Michael Ryan is from Cullen Road, Oola, Co. Limerick and competes in the three-day eventing. He now lives in Bandon, Co. Cork with his wife Patricia Ryan [née Donegan]. This is Michael’s first Olympic Games though his wife Patricia competed in three-day eventing at both the 2000 and 2008 Olympic Games. Michael Ryan is a past pupil of the Abbey CBS in Tipperary Town.
(Michael O’Dwyer is compiling a book on Olympians from Tipperary/or with Tipperary connections. If you can assist Michael with names of any Olympians for his book he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
In addition, Carrick-on-Suir man Martin O’Loughlin is manager of the Irish cycling team in London.
And Clonmel breeder and school teacher James Ryan bred one of the Irish horses competing the London game, ‘Electric Cruise’.