Portlaoise cousins set for Olympic Games

Denis Donoghue from Portlaoise, will accompany Kieran Behan, Ireland’s sole Gymnastics representative to the London Olympics, this coming weekend. However, while Kieran competes in front of the world, Denis will be fulfilling another role, as a judge of the competition.

Denis Donoghue from Portlaoise, will accompany Kieran Behan, Ireland’s sole Gymnastics representative to the London Olympics, this coming weekend. However, while Kieran competes in front of the world, Denis will be fulfilling another role, as a judge of the competition.

He won’t be Portlaoise’s sole representative at the games either, and it will certainly be a ‘family affair’ as his cousin, Anne Keenan-Buckley, will also be making the short trip to London as part of the Irish Athletics Squad’s back room team.

Denis has competed at national and international level as a young man. Having retired from the sport, he decided to turn his hand to judging to keep up his involvement.

Earning the right to represent your country as a gymnastics judge is not an easy task. Denis completed lots of technical courses and corresponding examinations and worked his way up the international competition circuit. All his hard work will be rewarded over the coming weeks as he judges the most prestigious competition in the world.

Anne Keenan-Buckley has been coaching with Athletics Ireland to middle and long-distance athletes, and she has been enjoying success in the role too, having been involved with the Irish U-23 cross country team, which featured local athlete Michael Mulhare, that won team gold at the European Cross Country Championships in 2011.

For anyone interested in getting involved in gymnastics, classes resume on September 8, please contact Alison Halpenny at halpennyalison@yahoo.co.uk for class details.