Taoiseach welcomes Ireland’s athletes home following ‘huge success’ at European Championships

Taoiseach welcomes Ireland’s athletes home following ‘huge success’ at European Championships

TAOISEACH Simon Harris has held a special reception welcoming home the nation’s athletes who competed at the European Athletics Championships.

Ireland achieved a four-medal haul at the competition in Rome, collecting two golds and two silvers during their time in Italy.

Support staff and executives from Athletics Ireland were also invited to government buildings for the celebration, which marked a “hugely successful” event, the Taoiseach’s office has confirmed.

Taoiseach Simon Harris welcomes Irish athletes Phil Healy, Lauren Cadden, Sophie Becker and Sharlene Mawdsley to government buildings following their success in Rome

Among those in attendance were athletes Sharlene Mawdsley, Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Lauren Cadden, Mark Smyth, Joseph Ojewumi and Hiko Tonosa.

The achievements made at the competition included Ireland’s women’s 4x400m relay team winning a silver medal.

Silver medalists Sophie Becker, Rhasidat Adeleke, Phil Healy and Sharlene Mawdsley of Team Ireland celebrate following their silver win in the women's 4x400m Relay Final

Made up of Phil Healy, Sophie Becker, Rhasidat Adeleke and Sharlene Mawdsley, the team performed exceptionally at the competition, winning silver for their nation and, in the process, setting a new Irish record of 3:22.71 seconds.

Elsewhere Ireland’s mixed relay team took a gold medal, while Adeleke clinched herself a second silver in the 400m sprint final.

Ciara Mageean, of Co. Down, also took home gold in the 1500m final.

Gold medallist Ciara Mageean celebrates as she wins the 1500m final in Rome

“I was delighted to welcome our athletes to Government Buildings to congratulate them on behalf of the country for their success at the European Athletics Championships,’ Mr Harris said.

“Their remarkable dedication, discipline and hard work has inspired the country,” he added.

Chris O'Donnell, Rhasidat Adeleke, Sharlene Mawdsley and Thomas Barr celebrate after winning the Mixed 4x400m relay final

“They have made enormous sacrifices to reach these achievements and we are so proud of their efforts, which will be hugely motivating for young people across the nation who are participating in many different sports.

“These results give our athletes and the public great momentum ahead of the Olympic Games this summer and I know the whole country will get behind and support each one of them.”