Watch Shane Lowry party as Shane Ross says Govt 'more than happy to fund' Major celebrations

Watch Shane Lowry party as Shane Ross says Govt 'more than happy to fund' Major celebrations

Shane Lowry has woken up this morning as the Open champion.

The 32-year-old had a night of it last night celebrating his six-stroke Major win over England's Tommy Fleetwood at Royal Portrush yesterday.

Speaking to reporters, Lowry said his winning moment was made even more special by the presence of Harrington on the 18th.

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“You go into Paddy’s house and his Claret jug is sitting there on his kitchen table,” he said.

“I am going to have one on my kitchen table now as well so I said to him and that is going to be quite nice.”

This morning Minister for Sport, Shane Ross, told Miriam O'Callaghan on RTE Radio One that the homecoming arrangements for Lowry are up to the people involved.

He added that his department is more than happy to fund any appropriate acknowledgement and no funds will be withheld for what he considers a national celebration.

He said: “We’re more than happy to fund anything. He is an iconic figure now.

He said whatever Shane Lowry wants he will certainly get.

"He's a national hero and obviously if he wants to celebrate in a very quiet way that's up to him but if he wants to celebrate with his family, he's cancelled his trip to Memphis because he wants to be here to be with his people, and probably Offaly is more important to him than some sort of national recognition.

"But I can't reveal that, I can't say anything about that at the moment'.

The Minister for Sport said he has never been at a sporting event like yesterday's Open in Portrush.

Minister Ross said: “It was quite extraordinary, everybody was behind Shane Lowry.

“There was an amazing atmosphere, exceptional, especially since it was such a dreadful day (weather).

“Golf is an all-island game, there is no border in golf.”

He described Lowry as someone “very special, very humble with a boyish, naïve outlook. He just went to play golf.”

The Minister did not make it to the 18th hole for the final shot and presentation despite queuing for an hour-and-a-half in the rain.

“The atmosphere was phenomenal. The roars and shouts you couldn’t forget. He is an iconic hero.”

He also said he had taken the opportunity on Sunday while in Portrush to meet with the R&A, organisers of the Open to discuss the possibility of the event being held on the island of Ireland again.

“I think they will be looking at Portrush again because it was incredibly successful.”

He said he had taken refuge from the weather in the clubhouse at Royal Portrush where everybody was cheering for Shane.

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