Over 1,000 welcome Egan home


MORE THAN 1,000 celebrating fans welcomed Olympic boxing hero Kenny Egan home to Clondalkin last night.

A round of applause erupted as the boxer descended from a specially-commissioned open-top bus wearing his Olympic medal, with "Ole, Ole, Ole" echoing through the crowd.

Dressed in an Irish tracksuit and navy baseball cap, the silver medallist was mobbed by fans as he made his way to the stage outside Boomers pub in the village, flanked by gardaí.

The boxer's mother, Maura Egan, who was in tears on arrival at Boomer's, said she had not expected such a big turnout.

She said it had always been her son's dream to win an Olympic medal, adding: "We don't do things by halves in Clondalkin."

Hughie Smith, one of Egan's coaches at the Neilstown boxing club, said he deserved the glory after eight years of trying to get there, and "it couldn't have happened to a nicer person".

Egan's father Paul said: "The kids deserve a new hero and they have it in Kenny."

Local resident Gavin Thomas said: "Everyone had been feeling down due to the recession, but that Egan has given them all a great lift."