SO Ireland Opening Ceremony.

Local athletes bring home 28 medals from 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games

Team Connaught won 311 medals at the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games in Dublin, and local athletes won 28 of those: 15 gold, seven silver and six bronze. 

Athletes from the Mullingar clubs, Shoot ‘n’ Stars and Galaxy are: Michael Myers, Stephen Russell, Daryl Gahan, Gerard Kennedy, Orla Carpenter, Monica O’Gorman, Alison Dunleavy, John McNally, Kieran McNally, Liam Foley, Peter Oxley, Frances Rooney, Breda O’Hanlon, Christopher Kenny, Stephen Walsh, Sarah Cully, David Corroon, Kevin Kennedy, Mary Daly, Gareth Rynn and Darren Heduan.

The coaches are: from Galaxy – Jackie Kidd and Janet Cully; and from Shoot ‘n’ Stars – Claire Kirby, Peter Sheridan, Martina Kennedy, Micheal Keenan, and Bernie Corroon.

Monica O'Gorman of Team Connaught (Mullingar) celebrates with George Hook.


Connaught athlete Darren Heduan from Mullingar celebrates with coach Brigid Toner.


Some 221 local Team Connaught athletes competed in the Special Olympics Ireland Games between Friday 15 and Sunday 17 June and a total of 1600 athletes from the four corners of Ireland took part in the Games.

Connaught athletes competed in 13 sports and Motor Activities Training, including Athletics, Aquatics, Badminton, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Kayaking, Pitch & Putt and Table Tennis.

Team Connaught won 150 gold; 92 silver and 69 bronze), alongside countless fourth and fifth place finishes, participation ribbons and personal bests at the Games, which concluded in Dublin on Sunday (17th June).

Roscommon swimmer, Aoife Hegarty, who was selected as a flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the Games, was amongst the region’s champions, claiming gold and two bronze medals in aquatics, while gymnast John Keenan, 18, from Ballymore, who was chosen as the region’s torch bearer for the Opening Ceremony, won two gold and one silver medal in artistic gymnastics.

Meanwhile, Team Connaught’s youngest athletes, both aged 10, had an impressive first Games;  Harry Hasson from Moate, won gold in standing long jump and silver in the 50M run while Maeve Walsh from Galway won silver in artistic gymnastics (floor).

“Myra Merrick, regional director for Special Olympics Connaught said: “Our congratulations go to all of the athletes that took part and represented Connaught so well over the course of games - we’re proud of each one.

“For many of our Team Connaught athletes, the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games in Dublin were their first chance to compete on a national stage, to represent their region at these games is, in itself, a phenomenal achievement.

“Bringing home 311 medals and personal bests from a competition of this level is a huge achievement. 

“They are also returning home with memories and new friendships that will last a lifetime.

“ I would also like to thank all the families, coaches and volunteers, who all played their part in making these games such a huge success; it would not have been possible without them.”

Selected athletes from these games will go on to represent Team Ireland at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.