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Home are the Heroes

posted 17 Sept 2012, 14:21 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 17 Sept 2012, 14:22 ]
(By Mark Monaghan)   
On Thursday evening last, with the help of Westmeath County Council and Sean Lynch (Mullingar Arts Centre), Lakeside Wheelers threw a homecoming celebration in Mullingar for local Paralympic cyclists Damien Shaw (LSW), joined by his Tandem partner James Browne, Fran Meehan (Tullamore CC) and Mark Rohan (Shannonside CC). 

After the fantastic turnout in Ballinahown on Tuesday evening, where thousands turned out to greet Mark and Damien it was great to see so many supporters and Wheelers turn out in the club colours to welcome home our medallists, especially so many of our sprocket rocket crew who were delighted to meet their new heroes. 

MC for the evening was none other than Mullingar’s very own Marathon Man Gerry Duffy who was excellent in his interviewing skills, taking time with each member of the team and also with Cycling Ireland President Rory Wyley & Paralympic Cycling Team manager Denis Toomey. I have to say how good and patient all the athletes were with the crowds of people who were asking for autographs and posed for pictures with everybody who asked. That truly is the sign of a top class athlete.

A special thank you must go to Joe Duffy who, ably assisted by numerous members of the club, pulled all this together in a very short space of time as only Joe can do. Thanks also to the Greville Arms Hotel who allowed us to use their ballroom for an informal meet and greet with the athletes and also for the welcome sight of a hot cuppa and a biscuit or two!

See more pictures from the welcome home celebrations here.

Midland Paralympic Cyclists
Back Row (L-R) Denis Toomey, Rory Wyley, Fran Meehan, James Browne, Dermot Hogan
Front Row (L-R) Mark Rohan, Damien Shaw, Gerry Duffy