ROWING brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan joined another Cork native – Brother Kevin Crowley – among those honoured at the 42nd People of the Year awards.
The awards, organised by Rehab, were broadcast live on RTÉ 1 from Citywest Hotel, Dublin last Saturday night.
Paul and Gary were joint winners of the Sports Person of the Year Award alongside sailor Annalise Murphy.
In their first Olympic games, the O’Donovan brothers won a silver medal in the men’s lightweight double scull at the games in Brazil. Immediately after Rio, Paul (22) flew to Rotterdam and took gold at the World Rowing Championship.
Accepting his People of the Year Award, Gary said: ‘We’re really honoured to accept this award and follow so many previous recipients who have inspired us to chase our own dreams.
‘Both of us love what we do and enjoy every moment – even in those cold and wet winter mornings out on the water. We have made many sacrifices to get to where we are but our passion never wanes. Without that passion we would not be where we are today. 2016 has been a huge year for us, but 2017 will bring new challenges,’ he said.
‘We must rise to them if we are to continue to add to Ireland’s rich sporting heritage – so we’ll keep doing our thing, keep enjoying Nana’s cooking and hopefully we’ll keep winning medals,’ he added.
Brother Kevin Crowley was awarded a People of the Year for running the Capuchin Day Centre, which serves hundreds of dinners a day to rough sleepers.
Having always had a close affinity to religious life, Br Kevin left his work in CIE to join the Capuchin Franciscans. After moving to Dublin from his native Cork, Br Kevin established the Capuchin Centre in 1969 providing food and other service to those in need.
When the centre first opened it served 50 people. Today it feeds up to 600 people every day, six days a week.