Some ex­tra­or­di­nary vic­to­ries across Cork

Irish Examiner - County - - News - CLLR PA­TRICK GER­ARD MUR­PHY

This cer­tainly has been a very spe­cial few weeks for me and in­deed for Cork. Pride and suc­cess mean dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple and of course it’s all rel­a­tive. But we have seen some ex­tra­or­di­nary wins across Cork re­cently.

Firstly, what suc­cess we had at the World Row­ing Cham­pi­onships. I can­not con­grat­u­late our ath­letes enough. How amaz­ing was Sanita Pus­pure on her gold in the women’s sin­gle sculls, what an in­cred­i­ble per­for­mance. I was hon­oured to be able to wel­come broth­ers Gary and Paul O’Dono­van back at Cork Air­port with their Gold in the light­weight men’s dou­ble sculls. Talk about a wel­come! It’s al­ways a plea­sure to meet th­ese amaz­ing am­bas­sadors. This is a huge vic­tory for them as in­di­vid­u­als and a great re­flec­tion on their clubs, fam­i­lies who sup­port such vic­to­ries. I was thrilled to join a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion on their achieve­ments at an open af­ter­noon at the Na­tional Row­ing Cen­tre last week and it was won­der­ful to see so many at­tend and meet their row­ing he­roes. Plus it’s great to see so much in­ter­est in the sport and to wel­come our fu­ture row­ers into this in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar sport.

While on the sub­ject of sport, last week I had the hon­our of host­ing a re­cep­tion for the Team Mun­ster Spe­cial Olympians and meet some of the very best ath­letes in Ire­land and in­deed the world. In at­ten­dance were ath­letes who par­took in this year’s Dublin Games. The Spe­cial Olympics Ire­land Games is the largest sport­ing event that takes place in Ire­land with 1,600 ath­letes from 400 dif­fer­ent clubs and a mas­sive 2,500 vol­un­teers in at­ten­dance this year. This is all made pos­si­ble by the ded­i­cated ef­forts of ev­ery­one in­volved. Among the ath­letes in at­ten­dance, I got to meet some who would be trav­el­ling to the United Arab Emi­rates rep­re­sent­ing Ire­land in the Abu Dhabi Spe­cial Olympic Games 2019. I’m priv­i­leged in my role as mayor to meet world-class ath­letes. I’m also very proud to be part of a coun­try that has the sup­ports to en­able ex­cep- tional in­di­vid­u­als to ex­cel not only on lo­cal and na­tional lev­els but on the world stage.

Medals were also in abun­dance across Cork at this year’s Tidy Towns Awards. Cork had yet again a won­der­ful out­ing with a host of medals spread across the county, too many to men­tion which is a happy com­plaint. I must give a spe­cial men­tion to Ballincol­lig Tidy Towns who were awarded the coun­try’s ti­di­est large ur­ban cen­tre. This year marked the 60th an­niver­sary of the awards and saw a record num­ber of al­most 900 en­tries. The work car­ried out by tidy town com­mit­tees is ab­so­lutely remarkable. Th­ese vol­un­teers are mak­ing our towns and vil­lages truly beau­ti­ful. They in­stil pride and sat­is­fac­tion within our com­mu­ni­ties which is clearly ev­i­dent as soon as you ar­rive. Tidy Towns re­ally is a fan­tas­tic com­pe­ti­tion and one which I am de­lighted to sup­port at any op­por­tu­nity.

I was es­pe­cially proud to see Cork County Coun­cil sup­port this year’s Make

Way Day. The goal of Make Way Day is to draw at­ten­tion to the chal­lenges posed by items ob­struct­ing foot­paths, such as bins, bikes, cars parked on curbs, sand­wich boards and so on. Some­times it’s for­get­ful­ness from the per­son who placed the ob­struct­ing items on foot­paths, some­times it comes from un­aware­ness, but small ob­sta­cles in the path of some­one with full mo­bil­ity can be a big ob­sta­cle for peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity.

En­coun­ter­ing th­ese ob­sta­cles can put peo­ple off leav­ing the house and en­gag­ing in their com­mu­ni­ties. It is vi­tal that we are considerate of all users of our pub­lic spa­ces. By sim­ply tak­ing a few min­utes to think about where you park your car up on a foot­path, even though you’re in a hurry, you can make a big dif­fer­ence to some­one who has dif­fi­culty with mo­bil­ity. It’s about giv­ing ev­ery­one the chance to suc­ceed in their ven­tures no mat­ter how big or small. As I’ve wit­nessed re­cently, we’re all ca­pa­ble of great things when we have the right sup­port be­hind us.

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