PAUL O’Donovan and Emily Hegarty, two of the best rowers in the country, have both won magnificent Olympic medals in Tokyo this week – and maybe that’s not surprising when you consider that the two Skibbereen rowers are related!
Both ere from the same parish of Aughadown, both have come through Skibbereen Rowing Club and both are now holders of Olympic medals, and we can tell you that Paul and Emily are third cousins.
Let's explain. Paul’s dad, Teddy O’Donovan, is second cousins to Emily’s dad, Jerry Hegarty, so it means Emily is a third cousin to Paul and Gary O’Donovan. Some genes in this family!
Paul and Fintan McCarthy stormed to an historic Olympic gold in the lightweight men’s double in the early hours of Thursday morning, while Emily is part of the women’s four crew that won bronze in Tokyo on Wednesday morning.
Worth noting, too, that Paul and Gary are also first cousins with rising Munster and Ireland rugby star Gavin Coombes, as Teddy O'Donovan is a brother to Gavin’s mom Regina. Something in the air in Skibb!