Glittering medal haul for Team NI at ‘friendly games’

Northern Ireland's Paddy Barnes receives his gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Northern Ireland's Paddy Barnes receives his gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

After a thrilling 11 days of competition in Glasgow, Team Northern Ireland is on its way home with an impressive haul of 12 Commonwealth Games medals.

Boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan both struck gold, while there were silver medals for bowlers Neil Booth, Paul Daly and Neil Mulholland in the men’s triples, as well as boxers Joe Fitzpatrick and Michaela Walsh.

Congratulating the athletes, Sport NI chief executive Antoinette McKeown said their energy and enthusiasm had been infectious.

“Their dedication and commitment to their sport is outstanding and each and every one of them should be so proud of what they have achieved.

“They are an inspiration to us all and, in particular, the next generation of athletes in Northern Ireland.

“We have also made a bit of history this week with our female boxers being the first to take to the ring in Commonwealth Games history.

“Michaela [Walsh] had the unenviable pleasure of being the very first female boxing bout, something she handled effortlessly,” she said.

Ms McKeown said it has been “hugely rewarding” to hear how they have valued the support of Sport Northern Ireland’s Sports Institute staff and added: “Our job now is to build on the success of the 2014 Games and look to the future.”

Bronze medals were also won in judo (Lisa Kearney), by boxers Alanna Audley-Murphy, Connor Coyle, Steven Donnelly, Sean Duffy and Sean McGlinchy, and women’s pairs bowlers Barbara Cameron and Mandy Cunningham.

The 12 medals meant Team NI finished 15th from 71 countries in the overall Games rankings.

England topped the medal table with 174 in total - including 58 golds - comfortably clear of second-placed Australia.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said the Games could be summed up as “gallus and glittering”.

Gallus, he said, means cheeky, colourful and confident - like Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt when he donned a tartan “tammy” hat at the Hampden athletics track on Saturday night.

He said all the athletes would return home with “glittering” memories of the Games and singled out the success of young Scottish swimmer Erraid Davies.

Mr Salmond said: “I would say that capturing the hearts of the nation was our youngest ever medal winner, 13-year-old Erraid Davies from Shetland, making the point that (it was) not just an exceptional achievement from a wonderful young lady but also that para athletes were fully integrated into the Games and they, just like every other member of Team Scotland and the other teams, gave their all to the Games.”




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