“23 years ago Gemma was born and it felt like all of Graiguenamanagh was in that hospital room. I never forgot that day and I’ll never forget today”
Those were the words of Jean Haire at the homecoming for her daughter Gemma Haire, last night in Graiguenamanagh, following her successful run at the 2023 Special Olympics in Berlin.
Gemma was welcomed home with much pageantry last night as the streets of her home village were filled with Kilkenny flags and proud fans.
Joe, Gemma’s father spoke to our reporter Amy McLoughlin about the experience at the games:
“There were 42 athletes in Gemma’s division in the games, and it was bloody tough. It was bloody tough, so it was, and it was nerve-wracking every time she came into the ring. So, look, we were all there for her, and it was great. And every time she came out, beaming with a smile, that was worth the whole thing in itself.”