'He has always had this Olympic dream' - Fintan McCarthy’s family proud of their gold medalist

RTÉ had a camera and microphone in place inside McCarthy’s Skibbereen home
'He has always had this Olympic dream' - Fintan McCarthy’s family proud of their gold medalist

Ireland’s Fintan McCarthy is congratulated by Aoife Casey after the race

It proved an unforgettable night for Team Ireland and the Skibbereen Rowing Club’s Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan.

The duo’s historic Tokyo gold medal heroics had the country on the edge of their seats in the wee small hours of the morning.

And RTÉ had a camera and microphone in place inside McCarthy’s Skibbereen home to get an instant reaction to Team Ireland’s rowing gold medalist.

Fintan McCarthy’s mother Sue and father Tom could not have been prouder of their son’s efforts alongside Paul O’Donovan and struggled to take in the enormity of their Olympic success.

“My God, words can’t explain it, I am beyond proud of both of them, it has been amazing watching them,” Sue McCarthy said.

“Fintan has been amazing really. We have left the WhatsApp to him. He called when he was ready but he was amazingly calm about it all. He has been very focused. I don’t know how they do it.

“The last five years have been relentless, full of highs and lows, ups and downs. Moments of elation and lots of early mornings taking Fintan to training. Lots of eating too! He has always had this Olympic dream. They have worked ever so hard to get there. Fair play to them both.

“I was 100% confident and I don’t want to sound arrogant at all as it was an amazing race,” added Tom McCarthy.

“The Germans pushed them hard and we know how hard the boys, in fact the whole team, has been working. They had an amazing competition and yes, it is very, very inspiring.

“We are absolutely elated and delighted for them. I am over the moon, overwhelmed really. They deserve every iota of it. 

"If people only knew how hard they all work. The support that they have had from everybody, it really has been unbelievable. Fintan and Paul would want to thank everyone for that.” 

Fintan’s twin brother Jake and sister Kate got in on the act and made sure they and their cat got their faces and reaction on national television.

Jake knows firsthand the amount of time, effort and dedication that goes into being a rower and didn’t disguise his delight at brother Fintan’s success.

“I don’t really know where we can go to celebrate at this hour to be honest as we are just at our house,” Jake McCarthy admitted.

“Like, it is all over so we are thinking, what do we do now? It is nearly 3am so there is nowhere to go except maybe open a bottle of champagne. That’s what we will do.

“Their journey has been relentless really. We all kind of drive each other on you know. So, I guess we push each other. Dominic (Casey) pushes everybody when it comes to training, it is non-stop grinding. It has obviously worked today though.” 

Clearly, no one was ready to go to sleep in the McCarthy household, or in Skibbereen for that matter, on such a momentous and unforgettable night.

More in this section

Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox