Games showed 'deepening Anglo-Irish ties', says Kenny

Mon, Aug 13, 2012, 01:00

TAOISEACH'S VISIT:TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny paid tribute to the London 2012 organisers, saying the 15 days had shown the deepening ties between Ireland and Britain.

The atmosphere at Croke Park during the historic rugby tie between Ireland and England in 2007 was “was actually matched by the extraordinary occasion in the ExCel Arena when the British boxing fans were shouting for Ireland and the Irish boxing fans were shouting for England” on the day Katie Taylor won a gold medal.

“They didn’t do it last night in the case of Campbell and Nevin,” he said jokingly, “but it is an extraordinary relationship that has developed and evolved between our two peoples. So, in that sense, it has been nothing but good and wonderful to witness.”

Speaking yesterday morning in London, he said he would “respect the wishes” of Ireland’s Olympians who had expressed a preference for a Government-held reception at Farmleigh over any other kind of homecoming celebrations.

“I am very loath for politics to enter into this sphere of being, if you like, perceived as muscling in on the victory of others,” he said.

“What I want to do here is respect the wishes of the athletes and, as I understand this from speaking to Pat Hickey, that the liaison officer, Sonia O’Sullivan – who has done a superb job – has spoken to the athletes and their wish is that there should be a Government reception, or a Government occasion, for the athletes, their families and the team, and the Government will respect that.”