Skibbereen to welcome Olympic heroes Gary and Paul O’Donovan

Up to 10,000 people are expected to throng the streets of a West Cork town next Monday to welcome home Olympic silver medalists Gary and Paul O’Donovan.
Skibbereen to welcome Olympic heroes Gary and Paul O’Donovan

The brothers will be carried in an open-top bus through their home town of Skibbereen.

The rowers are expected to arrive to a tumultuous welcome at around 7.30pm and travel on through North St, Main St, and onto at the old mart in the middle of the town, now called the Fairfield.

The carnival atmosphere will get underway at the Fairfield from around 6pm, when 96FM/C103FM will provide entertainment, with music by Ken Perrott.

The homecoming organisers said that a number of big screens will be erected around the town so that well-wishers will be able to see the local heroes being interviewed on stage by RTÉ’s Jacqui Hurley.

She will also speak to Skibbereen Rowing Club coach Dominic Casey about the brothers’ tremendous achievement in Rio de Janeiro. The interviews are expected to conclude by 8.45pm.

The organisers say that they are expecting anything between 5,000 and 10,000 people to come to welcome the O’Donovans, making it the largest celebration ever seen in Skibbereen.

A number of dignitaries have also been invited to attend the event, including the mayor of Co Cork, Seamus McGrath.

He revealed that the county council is organising a special civic reception for the brothers, which will take place in County Hall at 11am on August 31.

“It’s only right and fitting that the council recognises their tremendous success at the Olympics,” he said.

Limited edition t-shirts bearing the slogan #PullLikeADog have been launched in honour the O’Donovans to raise much-needed funds for their rowing club.

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