Three years of hard work paid off for the athletes from Enniscorthy Special Olympics Club as they returned from the National Games in Dublin with an impressive haul of medals. The journey for the group began with local competition before moving up to provincial and it culminated at the national finals in Dublin where they cleaned up.
Chairperson of Enniscorthy Special Olympics Margaret Nolan said it had been a great effort from all involved, particularly the trainers Larry Parle, Geraldine McCarthy, Paul Cosgrave and Frank Kelly who had put in so much work with the athletes in the build up.
'They all had a wonderful time,' she said. 'It gives them such independence and the whole thing is really a marvellous experience for them. The whole thing is volunteer driven and we are always looking for new volunteers, particularly a swimming coach, and athletes to take part. Anyone interested can get in touch with the club.'
The winners were as follows: Margaret Askins - pitch & putt, Gold; Fintan Broaders - bocce, team gold, ribbon 4th singles; Sean McDonald - basketball, bronze; David Mitten - bocce, team gold, singles gold; Mary Morris - pitch & putt, silver; Ryan Morrissey - golf, ribbon 5th; David Murphy - bowling, ribbon 4th; Noel Murphy - basketball, bronze; Peter Murphy - bocce, two silver team and singles; Stephen Murphy - bocce, team bronze, gold singles; Daniel O'Leary - athletics, gold, relay ribbon x2; Jamie Pollard - basketball, bronze; John Quigley - bocce, team silver, ribbon singles; Eithne Roche - athletics, 50m walk gold, softball silver; Jessica Rossiter - athletics 50m run bronze, softball gold; Aoife Shortall - athletics, 200m bronze, relay 4th; Conor West - swimming silver and ribbon x2; Niamh Whelan - bocce, team bronze, singles bronze; Muireann Hore - athletics, shotput gold, 100m relay ribbon; Kate Tyndall - basketball, silver; Patrck Hickey - bocce, team bronze, singles bronze and Liam Treacy - bocce, singles gold.
All of the gold medal winners will now be put into a hat to see who will go on to represent Ireland at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi. The group returned to a hero's welcome and certainly did Enniscorthy proud.