Summer fun for Team Ireland at US Ambassador's residence
The American Ambassador's residence has never seen a party like it.
The 88 members of Special Olympics Team Ireland were accompanied by their coaches as they were guests of honour for a reception held by US Ambassador Kevin O'Malley at his Phoenix Park residence yesterday.
The group cheered and clapped as two athletes joined members of the gardaí and PSNI in a symbolic 'Law Enforcement Torch Run' up the avenue to the Ambassador's home.
The group broke out into a chant of "Olé, Olé, Olé" as they posed for pictures before retiring to the Ambassador's garden for a barbecue and music.
Mr O'Malley hosted the party as a send-off for the group before they depart for the World Summer Games in Los Angeles next month.
The athletes will be joined by 40 managers and coaches, as well as 155 volunteers and 300 family members and supporters, when they jet out on July 21.
The games will be held from July 25 until August 2 and American First Lady Michelle Obama will be attending the opening ceremony.
Ambassador O'Malley said he was "thrilled" to host the "interesting group of really talented athletes".
"We are just delighted to have them here on this very beautiful Dublin day and send them off on what will be a great adventure for all of them," he told the Irish Independent.
"Eunice Shriver was such a big part of the special Olympics. And, her sister-in-law, Jean Kennedy-Smith was the Ambassador here. So it is really fitting that as the Special Olympics return to LA we send them off from the Ambassador's residence here in Dublin."
Ireland hosted the World Summer Games in 2003, the first country to host the event outside America.