A year that He­len Kear­ney or Wicklow will not for­get

Bray People - - GARDEN COUNTY GAA SPORTS STARS AWARDS 2012 - HE­LEN KEAR­NEY SPE­CIAL AWARD

HE­LEN KEAR­NEY will never for­get 2012, that’s for sure. And for that mat­ter nei­ther will the peo­ple of Dunlavin and the en­tire county of Wicklow.

In light of the Dunlavin na­tive’s ex­ploits over the sum­mer she will re­ceive the com­mit­tee award re­serve for a high achiever from an­other sport from Wicklow GAA.

He­len, who took the eques­trian events at the Par­alom­pics in Septem­ber by storm, joins the pan­theon of 'out­side'sports stars hon­oured by the GAA in­clud­ing boxer Katy Tay­lor, ath­lete Fion­nu­ala Brit­ton, former in­ter­na­tional rugby player Shane Byrne, and soc­cer boss Pat Devlin from Bray.

The 23-year-old brought great hon­our to her county as she per­formed su­perby and was one of Ire­land 'shigh­est achiev­ers and top medal win­ners at the Par­a­lympics as she gar­nered a sil­ver medal and two bronze medals in dres­sage events.

She se­cured the sil­ver in in­di­vid­ual dres­sage where her per­sonal best score of 76.7 lifted Ire­land's dres­sage team on to the Olympic podium to be pre­sented with bronze, and she com­pleted her medals hat-trick with an­other bronze in the freestyle com­pe­ti­tion, buck­ing what had been a frus­trat­ing day for the Ir­ish team.

He­len from Bo­her­boy, was com­pet­ing in the Par­a­lympics for the first time and was not in awe of the oc­ca­sion as she took the Games in Mis­ter Cool's stride.

She had pre­pared well for the event, had the ex­pe­ri­ence of com­pet­ing at the high­est level of com­pe­ti­tions in Bri­tian, France and Bel­gium, trained at Bar­bard De­lahy­des's famed Marl­ton train­ing cen­tre in Wicklow and she had the tem­pra­ment to match that of her horse Mis­ter Cool.

Her Par­a­lympic suc­cesses won the hearts and ad­mi­ra­tion of county and coun­try. Hers was a vic­tory of in­domitable spirit in the face of ad­ver­sity.

Dunlavin’s He­len Kear­ney who starred in the Par­a­lympics in Lon­don in 2012.

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