Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Dublin People use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don’t sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • Northside West

Special Olympics Ireland return to Dublin

Thursday, 12th October, 2017 7:59am
Special Olympics Ireland return to Dublin

Special olympics athlete Rebecca McAuley and Dublin footballer Dean Rock are pictured with Olympian Natalya Coyle during the Special Olympics launch. PHOTO: SPORTSFILE

Special Olympics Ireland return to Dublin

Special olympics athlete Rebecca McAuley and Dublin footballer Dean Rock are pictured with Olympian Natalya Coyle during the Special Olympics launch. PHOTO: SPORTSFILE

DUBLIN footballing legend Dean Rock and Olympian Natalya Coyle called for volunteers to get involved in the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games after it announced that the massive event will take place in the capital next year.

Running over four days, from Thursday, June 14 to Sunday June 17, the Games will be one of the largest and most prestigious sporting events to take place in Ireland next year.

Over 1,600 Special Olympics athletes from throughout Ireland will travel to Dublin. They will be accompanied by 600 coaches and official delegates and 3,000 family members and supporters

The Games will be supported by a team of 2,500 volunteers who will be recruited from Dublin and beyond over the coming months. 

Dean Rock said that Special Olympics will be counting on the support of everyone to make them a success.

“We’re here to mark something very special today, the Special Olympics Ireland Games coming back to Dublin in June 2018,” Dean said.

“They were last here in 2002, a year before the World Games took place in Dublin in 2003. It was an amazing time and had such an impact on communities across Ireland. But, as in 2002 and 2003, Special Olympics needs each and every one of us to get on board.”

Olympian Natalya Coyle, also an ambassador for Special Olympics, said local support would be essential to making the Games a success.

“It is now up to every one of us to show all the athletes who have come so far the support they deserve.”

Check out for full information.


 call on everyone to get behind these Games by volunteering so that we can give these inspiring athletes the professional and comprehensive Games experience they deserve. Without volunteers, these Games cannot happen.” 

Athlete Face of the Games Rebecha McAuley from Bray who was at today’s launch said: “Being part of Special Olympics means so much to me. My training has given me skills I can use into everyday life. I can’t wait to represent my region at these Games, so please help support us.”

The 1,600 athletes will compete in 13 sports in venues throughout Dublin with one venue in Meath and Kildare. The Sport Ireland National Sports Campus will host 6 sports; badminton, basketball, bocce, football, gymnastics, swimming and the non-competitive motor activities training programme. Across the city, Morton Stadium will host the athletics competitions, Cherry Orchard Equestrian Centre will host equestrian, the Irish Wheelchair Association facility in Clontarf will host table tennis, St. Margaret’s Golf Course will host golf, Leisureplex in Blanchardstown will host bowling, pitch and putt will take place at the Royal Meath Pitch and Putt Club, kayaking will be at Salmon Leap in Leixlip and the open water swimming event location is still to be confirmed.

A total of 2,500 volunteers will be required to ensure the successful staging of these Games and a major volunteer recruitment campaign for the Games is now underway. Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland, said: “Getting involved as a volunteer at the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games will be an unforgettable and rewarding experience. Your involvement is vital and is guaranteed to make a real difference. Everyone connected with Special Olympics is immensely excited that the Games are returning to Dublin and we hope that these Games will be a fantastic success, talked about for many years to come.”

Special Olympics competitions in each of the sports have been taking place over the past number of months at regional level, and athletes from each of the five regions have now qualified to compete at Ireland level. For the next nine months, these athletes will be busy training in their local clubs, supported by their volunteer coaches and management team.

Today’s announcement was set against the backdrop of a new addition outside the Special Olympics offices on the National Sports Campus. After 10 months of collaboration between the Office of Public Works Arts and Architectural Services Sections and renowned Irish Sculptor, Leo Higgins, Special Olympics Ireland were delighted to unveil their new art installation which will represent the organisation on the campus for many generations to come.

If you wish to volunteer for the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games and want to find out more we invite you to attend one of our upcoming recruitment events taking place in Dublin throughout October. Check out for full information.


Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here