Video: West Cork celebrates Olympic success, Taoiseach rules out ‘freedom day’ for Ireland

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Heroes' welcome

Ireland’s Olympic champion rowers were given a heroes’ welcome by their teammates upon their return to the Olympic Village.

Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy triumphed in the lightweight double sculls in Tokyo, securing Ireland’s first ever Olympic gold in rowing.

After their medal ceremony they were greeted by a throng of supporters who had congregated with flags at their accommodation in Tokyo.

Hometown pride

Meanwhile in their hometown of Skibbereen, Co Cork, there were celebrations overnight after the pair landed the gold medal.

“The buzz around Skibbereen is amazing,” said Skibbereen Rowing Club secretary TJ Ryan. “The town is alive.”

However, O’Donovan has said he expects to receive the wrath of his mother when he returns to Ireland with his medal.

“I’ve been ignoring her all the while so she’s going to be fairly annoyed, when I get home I’ll get a back of the hand across the face I’d say,” he told RTÉ.


University College Cork has also been celebrating the medal-winning successes of its students and graduates at Tokyo 2020.

No freedom day for Ireland

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has ruled out the possibility of a big-bang easing of Covid-19 restrictions, similar to England’s “freedom day”.

Speaking during a visit to a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Swords this afternoon, Mr Martin said that while the vaccination programme was making good progress, the Delta variant meant that a cautious approach is needed.

While he did not give any indications of whether any Covid restrictions would be relaxed in August, he did suggest that he would like to see attendance at the All-Ireland finals in Croke Park increase above the current maximum of 18,000 spectators.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said on Wednesday that Ireland has one of the highest rates of vaccine uptake in the world, adding that the country could be “weeks away” from lifting further restrictions on society.

Vaccine benefits 'beyond expectations'

Ireland’s vaccination programme is having “massive benefits beyond expectations”, the head of the Health Service Executive (HSE) has said.

Paul Reid said the rate of uptake of vaccines has set a very high bar for the rest of Europe.

More than 5.7 million vaccines have been administered, with 86 per cent of people partially vaccinated and 71 per cent of people now fully vaccinated.

Cork hospital apologises to over care of new-born...
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The vaccine programme opened to 16 to 17-year-olds this week, and to date 47,616 teenagers have registered for a jab.

Hospital apology

Cork University Maternity Hospital has apologised to the family of triplets for the care of one of their babies just a day after she and her siblings were born at the hospital.

Three-year-old Maja Moldysz from Rathcormac, Co Cork suffered a “catastrophic event” on the second day of her life and she is severely disabled both physically and intellectually.

The apology was read out in the High Court as Maja Moldysz settled her legal action against the HSE over her care at the Cork hospital with a €887,200 interim payment for the next two years.

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