Games homecoming for NI athletes

Published Monday, 04 August 2014
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Team Northern Ireland have returned home from the Commonwealth Games after claiming 12 medals in Glasgow.

The region enjoyed medal success in judo, lawn bowls and boxing - which accounted for nine of Team NI's medals, including golds for Belfast fighters Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan.

It made for Northern Ireland's second biggest medal haul ever and biggest since Edinburgh 1986.

The bulk of the Team NI returned by boat on Monday for a homecoming in Belfast where they will be reunited with family and friends.

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín applauded the efforts of all the athletes and coaches.

"It was a great achievement to come away from Glasgow with 12 medals, two more than in Delhi four years ago, and the team was unfortunate not to have secured a number of other medals, with a number of athletes coming very close," she said.

"Pride of honour must rest with our boxers who secured a record nine medals, including our only two golds of the Games and our bowlers secured medals in the Men's Triples and Women's Pairs, while Lisa Kearney's bronze in judo, our first medal of the games, set the ball rolling."

The total medal haul of two gold, three silver and seven bronze left Northern Ireland fifteenth in the medal table of 71 countries, with England on top with 58 golds and a total of 174 medals.

Michaela Walsh and Joe Fiztpatrick won silver in boxing, while the men's triples team of Neil Booth, Paul Daly, Neil Mulholland were silver medal winners in lawn bowls.

There were bronze medals for Lisa Kearney in judo, the women's pairs team of Barbara Cameron and Mandy Cunningham in lawn bowls and five more local boxers - Alanna Audley-Murphy, Steven Donnelly, Connor Coyle, Sean Duffy and Sean McGlinchy.

The Commonwealth Games came to a close on Sunday evening with a spectacular ceremony at Hampden Park which featured performances from Kylie Minogue and Lulu, as Glasgow handed over to Australia where the 2018 Games will be hosted by the Gold Coast.

Prime Minister David Cameron thanked the people of Glasgow for a "dazzling" Games.

He said: "Team Scotland, Team Wales, Team England and Team Northern Ireland - you have cycled, run, shot, swim, dived, wrestled, boxed your way to victory.

"It's been a stunning performance."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
3 Comments
Bob in Belfast wrote (111 days ago):
Well done lads and lasses and good luck in Rio .
Stuart in Carrickfergus wrote (111 days ago):
She let herself down you should be gracious in defeat . Dont get on like a child you were beat simple.
Observer in Online wrote (111 days ago):
Well done Team NI!
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