12 October 2016, Wednesday
By Bryan T. Smyth
Everyone remembers the interview, full of quotable casual understatements.
Now the brothers have another title to their names!
Olympic silver medallists, Gary and Paul O’Donovan from West Cork, are ‘Cork Persons of the Month’ winners following their herculean efforts at the Rio Olympics in August. In addition to winning silver in Rio, Paul subsequently went on to secure a Gold Medal at the World Championships in Rotterdam.
“Never in the 24-year history of Cork’s premier awards scheme – ‘Cork Person of the Year’ – have we had more nominations for our regular ‘Cork Person of the Month’ award, than we had for the O’Donovan brothers. That’s really saying something, when you consider past winners have included sporting icons such as Roy Keane and Jimmy Barry Murphy,” according to Awards Organiser, Manus O’Callaghan.
The boys are now back in training and this month (Oct 9th) won the doubles final at the Irish Open Regatta held at the National Rowing Centre, Inniscarra. Paul also pipped his brother to win the A final of the single sculls, on the first weekend of the Irish rowing season.
The ‘Cork Persons of the Month’ presentations were recently made to Gary and Paul O’Donovan at Skibbereen Rowing Club, Co. Cork. As ‘Cork Persons of the Month’, the brothers’ names will now go forward for possible selection as ‘Cork Persons of the Year’ at the Gala Awards Lunch on January 20th next, before an invited audience from Cork City and County, representing all sections of Cork society. See the new video interview with the boys on the Cork Person of the Year Facebook.
The O’Donovan Brothers’ achievements and endearing personalities made a huge international impact during the Olympics and they received a hero’s welcome on their return home to Cork. President Michael D. Higgins summed up the feelings of the entire country when he said that the O’Donovan brothers had captured the nation’s imagination.
“On behalf of the people of Ireland, I want to congratulate Paul and Gary O’Donovan on their silver medal – Ireland’s first ever Olympic rowing medal. They have captured the nation’s imagination and their skill, determination and positive outlook make them outstanding ambassadors for their sport, and for their community long into the future. Their success will encourage young men and women all around Ireland to participate in sport”, said President Higgins.
“Like Gary and Paul O’Donovan, we too would like to acknowledge the great work done by Rowing Ireland and Skibbereen Rowing Club and their many mentors and coaches including Dominic Casey and Morten Espersen”, concluded the Awards Organiser, Manus O’Callaghan.