Monday 19 August 2019

Ireland's Greg O'Shea wins Love Island 2019 with partner Amber Gill

Love Island couple Greg and Amber
Love Island couple Greg and Amber
Greg and Amber on Love Island

Ralph Riegel

Limerick hailed 'Gentleman' Greg O'Shea (24) as the Shannon rugby star proved the winner and undoubted romantic hero of 'Love Island'.

Pubs and clubs across the city erupted in cheers as the former Munster Rugby Academy star not only took the 2019 'Love Island' title, but won widespread plaudits for his generous decision to share the £50,000 top prize with his on-show partner, Amber Gill from Newcastle.

Cheers of 'Good man, Greg' echoed around the 101 Club in Limerick city centre where a packed attendance had watched the finale of the top-rated Virgin Media/ITV show.

When the Limerick rugby player drew the £50,00 top prize with the right to keep the entire winnings himself, but then selflessly decided to share it with Amber, women throughout the pub screamed themselves hoarse in applause.

The Corbally native, a late-comer to the island and the blockbuster Virgin Media show, defied the bookies' predictions as he took the public vote and the title with his on-show partner, Amber.

Now, Limerick locals are predicting a glittering media career for the personable young Corbally rugby player who defied an horrific Achilles injury to establish an Irish rugby sevens career.

Read more here: 'Island has made me a different woman', says Maura

His sister, Laura, said everyone was "very proud" of how he stayed true to himself on the show.

"It was lovely to see him smiling and so happy on the show," she said.

"It is wonderful to see him enjoying himself so much because so far his life has been all about rugby, college and his studies."

Limerick rallied to support a young man whose sporting connections proudly go back three generations locally.

The city was dotted with special 'Love Island' parties in pubs and clubs.

The Black Rabbit on Carr Street hosted their own special 'Love Island' viewing event.

It's party featured romance-themed Daiquiri cocktails blended in honour of Greg O'Shea.

In the packed 101 Club on O'Connell Street, Ireland's Eurovision star, Sarah McTernan joined with friends Chloe Markham and Lara Horton to watch the grand finale.

"I think he has really represented Limerick and Ireland so well out there - he has come across as a really nice Irish guy," Sarah said.

Lara said that the soft-spoken and polite Irishman had offered a welcome contrast to the "toxic bad boys" that had been a previous hallmark of the show.

"It was a victory for the nice guys," she said.

"I am absolutely delighted that he won it."

Sisters Chloe Duggan, Angela Duggan and Emma Quinlivan said the entire city was captivated by the show.

"I know the O'Shea family and everyone is so proud of him," Angela said.

Friends Hamed Safa, Kayleigh O'Mahony and Kate McAuley said the Irish involvement in 'Love Island' this year has transformed the show in a very positive way.

Sisters Rachel and Zoe Ryan and their friend Holly Dunlea couldn't wait for the special 'Love Island' finale in the 101 Club.

"We've been watching 'Love Island' from the very first episode and it's been brilliant since Greg O'Shea went onto the island," Zoe said.

Friends Rebecca Franklin, Ann Fitzgerald and Amanda Fitzhenry said the 'Love Island's series made for "compulsive viewing this year thanks to the Irish involvement."

Other major events took place in Limerick sports clubs closely associated with the O'Shea family.

Greg's father, Niall, boasts a lifelong involvement with Shannon RFC as does his grandfather, Bill, as well as several uncles.

His first cousin is former Ireland U-20 flanker, Kelvin Brown.

Shannon RFC sent its best wishes to the Irish Sevens star and promised a rousing 'welcome home' party for him from 'Love Island'.

He won a B& I Cup medal with Munster in 2017 as well as multiple underage rugby awards with Crescent College in Limerick.

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