Connaught Catches Crazy Launch Fever



Harry Hasson, the youngest athlete set to represent Connaught in the upcoming Ireland Games at just 9 years old.

Team Connaught was the second delegation to host their Ireland Games launch last Friday 18th May. The fantastic facilities at the Athlone institute of technology hosted 227 athletes along with 104 coaches and delegations. The launch took place on the college’s campus, for the Connaught Ireland Games launch.

Friends, family, guests and volunteers cheered athletes from Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.

John Mulligan from Galway Bay FM, who has an active history with the Special Olympic Ireland organisation, hosted the event. The athletes were led out by local sports stars who made an appearance at the launch.

Westmeath footballer Dessie Dolan, Longford middle distance runner Cian McPhililps, Leitrim footballer Maeve Quinn, Sligo long distnace runner Mary Cullen and Mayo boxing champion Shannon Sweeney, lead their counties athletes to their seats.

The athlete oath, read confidently by Mark Bolger, unsurprisingly recieved an incredible response form the athletes and guests. “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”, encapsulates the conscientious  shared amongst Mark and his Connaught teamates as the 14th of June draws near. Mark, who is from Galway, will be participating in tenpin bowling during the Ireland Games.

Following the speeches, and some inspiring words from Ireland Games athletes, the Connaught launch followed the Special Olympic spirit, and turned into a huge party.

Local trad band Celtic Cru played some high octane Irish tunes for the audience. The athletes proved that they aren’t just talented in sport, as the athletic track turned into a packed dancefloor.

If the Ireland Games, running from the 14th – 17th June, is anything like the launches preluding the event, then you can expect an incredible weekend of fun.

1,600 inspiring athletes will storm the Dublin venues to participate in 13 sports this summer. Launches similar to this one is Munster, will take place across the country. They will demonstrate the energy and excitement building as the countdown accelerates towards the event.

Special Olympics Ireland would like to extend an invitation to the people of Ireland, to come visit the Games in June. The largest sporting event in Ireland in 2018 will run from Thursday 14th until Sunday 17th of June. This family friendly event is completely free and take place in venues all across Dublin. For more information please visit