Tuesday 20 November 2018

Blades of glory for Dorothy

At 103, Dorothy Dermody is one of the oldest Olympians still alive today. She competed in the fencing competition at the 1948 Games in the Individual Foil discipline.

Born in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary, she has long been known as Tommy -- a nickname she picked up in childhood. She trained in physical education at the now defunct Ling College in Dublin and excelled in such diverse sports as fencing and diving. She also played lacrosse and squash for Ireland.

She was Games mistress at Dublin's fee-paying girls' school, Alexandra College, between 1943 and 1958, and once led a campaign to have a playground installed in every school in Ireland.

Furthermore, she was renowned for her efforts to get children involved in swimming and diving.

A former secretary of the Dublin Wine Society, she has been known as Tommy McCormack since 1990 -- having taken the name of her deceased partner, Count Cyril McCormack (son of celebrated Irish tenor, John).

She continues to live in Dublin, but was unable to attend the commemorative event for 1948 Olympians at Farmleigh earlier this month.

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