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O'Leary's Cheltenham Glory

Story by Eilis Ryan

Wednesday, 23rd March, 2011 4:30pm

The public saw a side to Michael O'Leary that they don't often see when he broke down before the cameras at Cheltenham last week, thinking of his father, Ted, currently battling serious illness.

It was an emotional moment for the Ryanair boss, who, being interviewed in the wake of the success of his horse "First Lieutenant", said of his father: "He's watching this at home and I hope he enjoyed it as much as me," he said. "We may not have him for many more Cheltenhams, so it's an emotional day."

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner this week, Mr. O'Leary said that his father is undergoing chemotherapy, but doing well.

"He enjoyed the week, and he would have enjoyed having those three winners, in the Westmeath colours," he said.

While Ted watched the Cheltenham festival from home, there was probably a place he'd prefer to have been based to watch it, he continued: "Given his choice, he'd prefer to be watching it at the Golf Club."

(For more see this week's Examiner)