President Michael D Higgins leads congratulations for Team Ireland's O'Donovan brothers

They have won silver at Rio 2016

Team Ireland, Paul O'Donovan, Gary O'Donovan

Ireland's Gary and Paul O'Donovan on the podium ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins has led the congratulations for the O'Donovan brothers after their Rio 2016 medal success.

The rowers will take home silver medals after second place finishes in the final of the men's double sculls.

"On behalf of the people of Ireland, I want to congratulate Paul and Gary O’Donovan on a silver medal today - Ireland’s first ever Olympic rowing medal," said President Higgins.

"They have captured the nation’s imagination and their skill, determination and positive outlook make them outstanding ambassadors for their sport, and for their community long into the future.

"Their success today will encourage young men and women all around the island to participate in sport and realise that success at the highest level is possible in virtually every sport."

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD, also congratulated the O'Donovan brothers on winning Ireland’s first ever Olympic silver medal in rowing.

Speaking after the final Minster Ross said: "Paul and Gary rowed a magnificent race and I am delighted they got their rewards with a silver medal. The brothers have been outstanding all week, it is a wonderful achievement for the young pair to be bringing home an Olympic medal from the Rio Games. After a tough start, this is real shot in the arm for Team Ireland and while this is the first rowing medal and our first medal of these games, hopefully there is more to come."

Minister O’Donovan added: "I am delighted for the O'Donovan brothers, they rowed an outstanding race against the best in the world, and we – along with supporters across Ireland are very proud of their performance in their first Olympic Games. Their family and friends, and Skibbereen Rowing Club must be immensely proud to see them winning Ireland’s first Olympic rowing medal and the first for Ireland at these games. This really is a magnificent achievement and I am sure there is more to come. It is a great day for the Ireland’s rowing Community, for West Cork and for Ireland."