WATCH: Local schoolchildren singing for the O’Donovan brothers is sweetest thing ever

The O’Donovan brothers have given the country pride and plenty of laughs over the last few weeks, but their local national school might just bring us to tears.

Gary and Paul came home to a rapturous welcome in Skibbereen, where they showed off their Olympic silver medals to what looked like the entire population of Cork.

There were many brilliant moments during the homecoming but it will be hard to top seeing local schoolchildren singing a song written especially for the rowing brothers.

Skip to three minutes in to hear the song.


Entitled ‘Our Olympic Heroes’, the song was written by teacher Niamh McCarthy and the children were introduced by principal Catriona O'Driscoll.

The soloist is 10-year-old Dominic Casey, son of the O’Donovan’s coach, also Dominic.

The brothers are past pupils of Lisheen National School and it is hard to imagine a more touching tribute than the effort the schoolchildren made to learn and perform the song for their Olympians.

It’s also pretty catchy - don’t blame us if you find yourself humming “And they went to Rio and they kept their dreams afloat!”

Lyrics - Our Olympic Heroes

Born just a year apart, close bond from the start

They always showed true strength of spirit

Running free around Lisheen, two boys who dared to dream

Pure will to win in every heartbeat

Their parents felt it could be so

“Let’s teach our children how to row”

Their father took them to the water and a flame was lit


They said “together we’ll row”, two brothers in a boat

And they went to Rio and they kept their dreams afloat

Our Olympic heroes, Gary and Paul

No dream too big, you’ve taught us to believe


Two hearts in harmony, such strength in unity

Pull like a dog to get from A to B

There’s a third man in the boat, Dominic their first-class coach

He lets the rowing do the talking

These men with fire in their blood

Changed Irish rowing forever

All through grit and determination and sheer hard work


In Brazil they made us proud, we cried, we laughed out loud,

Silver for rowing, gold for interviews,

In the boat, telepathy, in their words, philosophy

Our boys made everything seem easy

Their wit and wisdom charmed the world

We watched the tri-colour unfurl

And we’ll always remember 2016

As the year the whole Olympics was won by Skibbereen

(Our Olympic Heroes, Pull like a dog, you made us proud in Rio)

By Grainne McGuinness

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