VIDEO: Team Ireland enjoy Gold rush at World Games

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Yesterday was another magic day for Team Ireland at the Special Olympics in LA.

On day six, 37 medals were won by Irish athletes including 8 Gold, 18 Silver and 11 Bronze.

Their stunning performance doubles Ireland’s tally to bring our overall numbers of medals to 70.

Team Ireland’s Ian Staunton, a member of Galway Kayaking Special Olympics Club, from Salthill, Co. Galway, with Roisin Henry, left, and Angelina Foley, both SO Ireland, at the Miami Marine Stadium, Long Beach. .

Team Ireland gymnasts gave a series of incredible performances to claim 4 Gold, 7 Silver, 3 Bronze in the Collins Court Wooden Centre in UCLA. 15-year-old Billy Kane from Swords, Co Dublin wowed spectators by clinching silver in the floor event, gold on the pommel horse, silver on the rings, silver on the high bar, gold on the vault and bronze in the all-round section.

Billy’s fantastic exploits were matched by his teammate Paul Keane, 34, from Ferns Co Wexford who took a bronze on the pommel horse, silver on the rings, silver on the high bar, gold on the parallel bar and silver in the all-round section of gymnastics.

Finally in gymnastics, 20-year-old Shauna Stewart from Coosan, Co Westmeath will be taking home a silver medal from the beam competition, a gold medal on the vault and a bronze in the all-round section.

But the medal gold rush didn’t end there. Team Ireland golfers are celebrating after claiming a host of medals and a placement ribbon.

30-year-old Paul Kirrane from Ennis Co. Clare and his playing partner in the alternate shot competition, 72-year-old Patrick Rutherford, won bronze.

There was a gold medal for 54-year-old Margaret Carr from Calry, Co Sligo who put in a great performance across 18-holes.

Both Leo O’Brien (18) from Rathdrum, Co Wicklow and Donegal man Oliver Doherty (39) took silver medals in their section of the golf, while Rosemary O’Reilly (28) from Tara, Co Meath took a silver in the Individual Skills.

Team Ireland’s Anne Hoey, a member of Drogheda Special Olympics Club, from Drogheda, Co Louth, celebrates after being presented with a Silver Medal for Bocce at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Finally, there was more joy for 29-year-old Jill Connery from Scarva, Co. Armagh and her playing partner Ursula McDonnell from Belfast, who took a silver in the Level 2 Alternate Shot, while Trudy Hyland from Lough Road, Co Cork took a fourth place ribbon in the 9-hole Individual competition.

Irish boxing legend, Wayne McCullough, himself a silver medallist (Barcelona 1992) who lives in Los Angeles took time out to watch Team Ireland competing on the penultimate day of competition at LA2015.

Cheering from the stands of Loker Stadium at USC with a massive Team Ireland crowd, Wayne, along with his wife Cheryl and daughter, Wynona saw James Meenan, 20 from Dundalk, Co. Louth claim a Gold medal in the 100M.

Wayne said: “It was amazing to watch James win his Gold medal for Team Ireland in the 100M; when he took off, no one was going to catch him – I’ve christened him the Junior Pocket Rocket. When I heard that the Special Olympics were on in LA, I just had to come and support the guys.

“It’s been great to meet James and some of the other athletics medallists, as well as the Team Ireland aquatics team and footballers today. Team Ireland has a huge amount of medals at the minute and I know they’re going to get more; win or lose, you’ve just got to fight until the end and I know they will do that.”

Also in athletics, there was a gold medal for 42-year-old Donal O’Mahoney from Kilcoole, Co Wexford who took a gold medal in the Pentathlon.

There were also more medals in kayaking, bowling and aquatics and equestrian.

Team Ireland’s Nuala Browne, a member of North West Special Olympics Club, from Strabane, Co Tyrone, celebrates after winning a Silver Medal.

Team Ireland CEO, Matt English, said: “To represent your country at Olympic level is a fantastic achievement; the many medals, ribbons and personal bests recorded by our athletes is just the icing on the cake.

“The experience of coming to Los Angeles and competing on a global stage is such a huge experience and all of our athletes and coaches can be so very proud of their efforts.”


Gymnastics: 4 Gold, 7 Silver, 3 Bronze, 3 x 4th Place Ribbons, 1 x 6th place Ribbon.

Billy Kane, 15, Swords, Co Dublin, Mid Sutton Gymnastics Club, Gold in Pommell, Gold in Vault, Silver in Floor Event, Silver in Rings, Silver in High Bar, Bronze in All Round, 6th place Ribbon in Parallel Bar.

Paul Keane, 34, Ferns, Co. Wexford, Wexford Special Olympics Club, Gold in Parallel Bar, Silver in Rings, Silver in High Bar, Silver in All Round, Bronze in Pommell, 4th place ribbon in Floor, 4th place ribbon in Vault.

Shauna Stewart, 20, Coosan, Co. Westmeath, St. Hilda’s School, Gold in Vault, Silver in Gymnastics Beam, Bronze in All Round, 4th place ribbon in Floor Event.

Aquatics: 1 Silver

John Paul (Sean) Coleman, 23, Youghal, Co. Cork, Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club, Silver in 25m Freestyle.

Athletics: 2 Gold, 1 x 4th Place Ribbon

James Meenan, 20, Dundalk, Co. Louth, St. Therese’s Special Olympics Club, Gold in 100m.

Donal O’Mahoney, 42, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, Sunbeam House Services, Gold in Pentatlon.

Aoife Beston, 25, Claremorris, Co Mayo, Claremorris All-Stars Special Olympics Club, 4th place ribbon in 5000m.

Bowling: 1 Silver, 1 Bronze, 1 x 4th place ribbon.

Michael Conboy, 48, Galway, Corrib Bowling Club, 4th place ribbon in Bowling singles.

Sean Campbell, 29, Coleraine, Co. Derry, No Club Recorded, Silver in Ten Pin Bowling Singles.

John Rowan, 51, Rathnew, Co. Wicklow, Blue Dolphins Special Olympics Club, Bronze in Bowling singles.

Kayaking: 3 Silver, 1 Bronze.

Ian Staunton, 25, Salthill, Co. Galway, Galway Kayaking Special Olympics, Silver in 200m.

Nuala Browne, 39, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, North West Special Olympics Club, Silver in 200m.

Rita Quirke, 54, Rathangan, Co. Kildare, Moore Abbey, Silver in 200m.

Nicola Higgins, 34, Dublin 5, Co. Dublin, Free Spirit Special Olympics Kayaking, Bronze in 200m.

Golf: 1 Gold, 5 Silver, 2 Bronze, 1 x 5th place ribbon

Margaret Carr, 54, Calry, Co. Sligo, Sligo Fairways Special Olympics, Gold in 18 Hole individual.

Rosemary O’Reilly, 28, Tara, Co. Meath, Midway Beechmont, Silver in Individual Skills.

Oliver Doherty, 39, Buncrana, Co. Donegal, Inishowen Special Olympics Club, Silver in 18 Hole Individual.

Jill Connery, 29, Scarva, Co. Armagh, Birdies Special Olympics Club, Silver in Level 2 Alternate Shot.

Ursula McDonnell, 70, Belfast, Co. Antrim, Special Olympics Club, Silver in Level 2 Alternate Shot.

Leo O’Brien, 18, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, Blue Dolphins Special Olympics, Silver in 9 Hole Individual.

Paul Kirrane, 30, Ennis, Co. Clare, No Club Recorded, Bronze in Level 2 Alternate Shot.

Patrick Rutherford, 72, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ennis Special Olympics Golf Club, Bronze in 18 Hole Individual.

Trudy Hyland, 41, Lough Road, Co. Cork, Cork Golf Special Olympics Club, 5th place Ribbon in 9 Hole Individual.

Equestrian: 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 x 4th place Ribbon

Elizabeth Mair, 37, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, Festina Lente Special Olympics, Gold in Working Trails.

Déarbhail Savage, 15, Mowhan, Co. Armagh, Saddle and Reins Special Olympics, Silver in Working Trails.

Thomas Connelly, 38, Coolaney, Co. Sligo, Nightriders Special Olympics Riding, 4th place Ribbon in Working Trails.


Brian Hooper, 33, Gorey, Co. Wexford, Special Olympics Club, Gorey Area, Bronze in Badminton Mixed Doubles.

Liam Foley, 17, Enfield, Co. Meath, Shoot’n’Stars Special Olympics, Bronze in Mixed Doubles.

Amy Quinn, 30, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Sunbeam Services, Bronze in Mixed Doubles.

Kelly Delaney, 26, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, South Tipperary Tigers Special Olympics Club, Bronze in Mixed Doubles.

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