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'Dominic Casey is the mastermind behind it all' | Irish rowing success story

Eoin Harte
Eoin Harte

12:36 21 Nov 2019


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The reserved yet extremely dedicated Dominic Casey is the mastermind behind Irish rowing's success, according to author Kieran McCarthy.

McCarthy, the author of ‘Something in the Water’ which looks at the incredible success of Skibbereen Rowing Club, was speaking on Thursday's OTB AM and praised Casey as the main driving force behind that success.

Much of the international success that Ireland have enjoyed in recent years has stemmed from the Skibbereen club and by extension, from Casey.

“This club has been consistently producing international class oars people year after year after year. So it’s just great to get their story out there.

“Even going back to this year’s World Senior Rowing Championships - 10 of the Irish team were from Skibbereen Rowing Club. It’s incredible when you think about it like that.

“This small little pocket in West Cork is producing international class athletes year after year after year. It’s a conveyor belt for them.

“Dominic Casey is the mastermind behind it all. If he walked through Dublin now, nobody would know who it is. But he’s the man who is overseeing such a golden generation in Irish rowing.

“Since he became the lightweight Ireland rowing coach back in 2015, [there have been] Olympic medals, world champions year after year, European champions, Rowing World Cup medals - and he’s the man behind it all,” McCarthy said.

While Casey has earned much praise, he seems to prefer avoiding it and chooses to keep his nose to the grindstone.

“He so prefers to stand in the background. We run sports awards down in West Cork… and back in 2016 when Gary and Paul [O’Donovan] qualified for the Olympics they were presented with a monthly award… and Dominic never turned up. He preferred to take juniors out on the river that day instead.

“Then at the next year’s awards, we decided to induct Dominic into the hall of fame. But we knew if we told Dominic beforehand he wouldn’t come.

“So we had to get his wife Eleanor on board, with one or two others from the club, and just get him there on the night and then surprise him.

“He just does not like the limelight. He lets the athletes take the glory and reap the benefits from it. He’s an intriguing character,” McCarthy explained.

Casey, the Irish lightweight rowing coach, was named the 2018 World Rowing Coach of the Year and will hope to experience more success at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

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