WE'RE rowing gold!
Ireland is once again celebrating rowing success, having taken one gold and two silvers at the European Rowing Championships, under the guidance of coach Dominic Casey.
We are European champions thanks to Skibbereen lightweight pair rowers Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll.
And this achievement for Skibbereen, and Ireland, has us once again in the world spotlight, as they stole the show at Racice in the Czech Republic.
They took their chance for glory and nailed it... winning gold. And then gave us more entertainment in the interview after the race, something that those Skibb lads also take gold at.
"We did it, we beat the Brits," said Mark, adding that Skibb coach Casey had "wanted to made us hungry for the rowing so kept us away from the sport for a day, and by God had we a hunger!"
Shane added that the "drop of whiskey before the race he had just thrown up" at the finish line.
And the wow factor continued as each of the remainder of their Irish team also medalled... Skibbereen's Denise Walsh taking silver in lightweight sculls, and Skibbereen brothers Gary and Paul O'Donovan taking silver in the men's double sculls.
Denise stormed up from fifth, to fourth, to third, and then to second before she ran out of course. And Gary and Paul gave us an exciting finish, coming from fourth to second in the final 100 metres.
After the race Gary credited seeing his team-mates doing so well spurred them on to medal, and also referenced Dominic Casey's daughter Aoife of Skibbereen winning a Junior European Rowing silver for Ireland last weekend, along with Margaret Cremen of Lee Rowing Club.
Unfortunately, Cork-based Sanita Puspure was taken ill before her competiton began and had to pull out, or we would likely have been looking at another medal for Ireland.
Rowing Ireland CEO, Hamish Adams, said of the team: “You have made all of us very proud.” The Irish faces on the podium told it all. Skibb's famous five... Mark, Shane, Denise, Paul and Gary... pulling like a dog!
An amazing story of Skibbereen success and rowing magic.