The eleven surviving members of the Irish team that competed 64 years ago in the London Olympic Games of 1948 were honoured at a celebratory luncheon today – March 9th organised by the Olympic Council of Ireland.
The luncheon, held in Farmleigh House, was attended by six of the team and the other five were represented by family members.
The eleven surviving team members are:
Jimmy Reardon (athletics)
Paddy Kavanagh (swimming)
Cummin Clancy (athletics)
Ernest Mc Cartney (swimming)
Paddy Condon (swimming manager)
Harry Boland (basketball)
Dorothy “Tommy” Dermody (Fencing)
Brendan O Kelly (football)
Morgan McElligott (rowing)
Denis Sugrue (rowing)
Robin Tamplin (rowing)
Dorothy Dermody who was the only female athlete on the team is now aged 103.
Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, presented Olympic Medals of Honour to the survivors and said that Ireland had sent a team of 79 competitors to complete in 11 disciplines in London. The team joined the Parade of Athletes in Wembley Stadium on July 29th 1948 – proudly marching behind the Tricolour.
“Participating at the Games, the first time since 1932, gave Ireland an Olympic sporting lift that has grown and grown over successive Olympics”, he said “64 years later, almost to the day, a team of over 50 representing the cream of Ireland’s talent from North and South, will follow in the footsteps of those post war pioneers and will go for gold in the best Olympic tradition”
64 years ago Ireland brought home just one Olympic medal from London, a bronze medal in the now defunct arts category – for a painting of the Meath Hunt Point to Point by the renowned Dunboyne artist Letitia Hamilton.
The celebratory luncheon was attended by Minister Michael Ring, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Sonia O’Sullivan, Ireland’s Chef de Mission at the upcoming London Games, family and friends of the 1948 team and many sporting personalities.
The Olympic Council of Ireland – were proud to welcome their sponsors to the lunch and Newbridge Silverware presented the 11 surviving 1948 members a beautiful canteen of cutlery set engraved with their names. They surviving members also received a lovely basket from Cadbury Ireland.
It was a fantastic day and thoroughly enjoyed by all.