Monday 5 December 2016

Paul O'Donovan tells the hilarious story of how Gary got suspended from the rowing club

Published 13/08/2016 | 11:56

Paul O'Donovan, left, and Gary O'Donovan of Ireland during a press conference after the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls A final in Lagoa Stadium, Copacabana, during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Paul O'Donovan, left, and Gary O'Donovan of Ireland during a press conference after the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls A final in Lagoa Stadium, Copacabana, during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Dominic Casey must have the patience of a saint.

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Paul and Gary O'Donovan's coach at the Skibbereen rowing club has the unenviable task of trying to keep a lid on two of the biggest personalities in Irish sport.

The brothers yesterday became the first Irish rowers to secure Olympic medals and have captured the hearts of the nation with their gleeful attitudes.

They give the impression that they may not be the easiest to train and Paul's story of how they have been threatened with suspension on numerous occasions doesn't really surprise.

Asked if Casey had threatened to suspend them, Paul told Brendan O'Connor on RTE Radio One: "He did, yeah... a couple of times I'd say. He's always threatening to kick us out the door.

"He didn't know the half of what we were up to because if he did, I'd say we'd have definitely been gone.

"We're always beating the shite out of each other and stuff like that out on the river and just causing a bit of trouble.

"Gary did get suspended. Diarmuid, one of our best friends, and him were kicked out for a week or something like that.

"The same two guys a few years later... it was the national championships and they went out on the piss the night before the race and they didn't wake up and missed the race and the club got fined.

"They had to pay that and do a few weeks of community service. They went to the rowing club and helped out with the youngsters and stuff."

Asked of there was a tinge of disappointment that they didn't finish on the top of the podium, Paul added:  "Everyone is saying 'it's a dream come true' but sure no one dreams of winning s silver medal. It's all about trying to get the gold one.

"That's not to say we're not happy with the silver medal either. It's a fantastic achievement. We can't complain about it either."

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