THE Government has been urged to invest further in Irish rowing following the unprecedented success of five rowers from Skibbereen.
The small rowing club on the River Ilen claimed five medals at the European Championships in the Czech Republic at the weekend.
Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan won gold, Denise Walsh won a superb silver and the Olympic medalists, the O’Donovan brothers, Gary and Paul, did the same.
However, some of their supporters in west Cork have voiced concerns that the athletes, despite their success, do not get the appropriate treatment while abroad.
The rowers had to rush immediately to the airport to fly home after their victories, with no accommodation provided to allow them to stay for a night to enjoy the celebrations.
Cork South West TD, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that the Government must put forward a renewed, and enlarged, financial support package for rowing.
“We need a targeted approach to identify sports that can deliver future success at European, World and Olympic level.
"To my mind, rowing is top of that list, and should receive increased support from Sport Ireland, the Olympic Council of Ireland and ultimately the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
"We have a limited fund for investing in sports that can generate Olympic success for this country. Rowing, led by the superb Skibbereen Rowing club, has shown it to be a sport that can deliver for the country on the global stage.
“I am calling on Sport Ireland, the OCI and the Government to invest in rowing, at elite and grassroots level, and help sow the seeds for future success for our country,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.