The Elected Members of Clare County Council hosted a Joint Civic Reception for four high achieving Clare sports figures following the May Monthly Meeting in the Council Chamber, Áras Contae an Chláir, this week.
The Civic Reception honoured Emma Barrett for winning a gold medal in swimming at the Special Olympics World Games, Marguerite (Mairead) Moroney and Jean Molony for their silver medal in golf at the Special Olympics World Games, and Noel McNamara who guided the Irish Under-20 Rugby Team to a Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year.
Speaking to the assembled audience in the Council Chamber, Mayor of Clare Councillor Michael Begley said, “It is important we mark the achievements of people from Clare who have flown the flag for their county and brought great pride to their local communities through their outstanding achievements. It is our honour, as Elected Members, to honour you for your achievements in sport and in representing your county with distinction on the international stage.”
Congratulating Emma Barrett, the Mayor said, “Emma took her place on the winner’s podium in Abu Dhabi in March as a member of Team Ireland’s 25m freestyle relay team which won Gold in the Special Olympics Games. This was a huge achievement for Emma and a massive source of pride for her teammates and of course, her family. Last July, Emma also won gold in the 200m breaststroke and in the 4 by 100 metre relay during the Special Olympic Ireland Games.”
In congratulating Mairead Moroney and Jean Molony who travelled to Abu Dhabi two months ago off the back of winning a medal at the Special Olympics Ireland Games, the Mayor said, “They knew that being invited to join Team Ireland’s golfers was the honour of a lifetime but they certainly didn’t rest on their laurels once they landed in the United Arab Emirates. Jean and Mairead putted, chipped and drove their way to a Silver Medal and in doing so raised the Banner and the Tricolour, much to the delight of their teammates, families and friends. You earned your success through hard work and belief in your own ability, and for that, all of us in this Chamber applaud you.”
Mayor Begley also paid tribute to O’Callaghan’s Mills native, Noel McNamara who guided Ireland’s U20 team to a first Grand Slam in 12 years.
“At the tender age of 36, Noel has risen through the ranks of school and underage representative coaching to his current position, which he balances with his work as an elite player development officer for Leinster Rugby. In winning the Grand Slam, Noel further cemented Ireland’s place amongst the powerhouses of world rugby while at the same time, he planted a small Clare flag at the top,” stated the Mayor.