Special Olympics torch arrives ahead of Games

The Special Olympics torch was in Roscommon on Tuesday morning last as local Special Olympics athletes prepare for the event in Shanghai next week. The Special Olympics takes place in Shanghai, China, from October 2nd to 11th. In recent days, torches were lit in every corner of the country which will form Ireland’s contribution to the flame at this year’s event. On Tuesday, local athletes Bernadette Carr and James Glover were feted in Roscommon before they departed for the world games in Shanghai. Children from the Convent of Mercy primary school, Abbey Boys NS and Convent of Mercy Secondary school were all present in the Square to give the local athletes a great send off. The Convent of Mercy NS school band was provided the musical entertainment for the event. Guests were welcomed by Maura Allen, who thanked the schools, the Gardaí and congratulated the two athletes Bernadette Carr and James Glover. Mayor of Roscommon Cllr. John Kelly welcomed the torch to Roscommon and congratulated all involved. He wished the local athletes well, and congratulated coach Joe Healy. He also noted that Deirdre Kelly, who spearheaded the fundraising efforts in Roscommon, couldn’t be present as she was on holiday, but he congratulated her on her excellent fundraising earlier this year. Chief Superintendent Philip Moynihan highlighted the role the Gardaí play in co-ordinating the torch run and he wished the local athletes the very best in China next week. He also presented a plaque to local Special Olympics athlete Sorcha Hegarty to mark the occasion. Harry Feeley of eircom addressed the gathering and said that eircom is the main sponsor of the 2007 event. He welcomed the torch to Roscommon and wished Emma and Bernie and James the best of luck.  Special Olympics athlete Bernadette Carr thanked everyone who turned out for the event and said that she and fellow athletes hope to do Roscommon proud and bring home a medal for all the hard training they have done.  As the event concluded Maura Allen made a presentation to the athletes on behalf of the local Special Olympics swimming club and said that it is hoped to establish a bowling club in Roscommon in the near future.