Padraig Harrington gets behind our golfers


The Team Ireland golfers received the opportunity of a lifetime when they met 2020 Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington ahead of their trip to Abu Dhabi this March

It was a moment that many golfers have wished for as Padraig offered some words of wisdom to the team,  in the final stages of preparation for their unforgettable trip to Abu Dhabi. Wishing the golfers luck, he also took the time to sign the golf balls that Team Ireland will use in the World Games.

There are high hopes for the team, not least due to the soaring interest in golf as a result of the continuing success of Irish golfers on the world stage. Irish golfer Shane Lowry recently won the championship in Abu Dhabi, setting the bar for success for Team Ireland. And one of our Team Ireland athletes Jill Connery from Scarva, Co. Armagh showed that the talent of our golfers as she scored a hole in one at her first residential training weekend at Grange Castle Golf Club in November.

Hailing from across Ireland, the Team Ireland golfing squad features Dubliners, Mark Claffey (29) from Blackrock; John Keating (26) from Templeogue; Andrew Simmington (30) from Dalkey and playing partner, Phyl Kelleher  from Rathfarnham an alternate shot partner; Mairead Moroney (69) and her playing partner Jean Molony an alternate shot partner, both from Ennis, Co Clare; Simon Lowry (27) from Loughrea, Co. Galway and Jill Connery (age 33) from Scarva, Co. Armagh.

Padraig Harrington, a long-time supporter and worldwide ambassador of Special Olympics commented:

“Irish golfers are now rated as some of the best in the world. This March, all eyes will be on Abu Dhabi when our inspirational Team Ireland athletes will be teeing off to achieve personal bests on a world class golf course. To represent Ireland is a phenomenal achievement and I would like to wish all of the athletes the very best of luck at the World Games.”