Paralympians Johnny Cronin and Tom Leahy may not have sported medals round their necks on their return from the London Paralympics, but they still got a hero’s welcome when the train pulled into Mallow Station on Tuesday evening. Bangers on the track heralded the arrival of the train, sparking cheers and flag waving as family and friends waited excitedly to welcome the athletes home.

Mayor Noel O’Connor was on hand to officially welcome Johnny and Tom, and he spoke of how proud Mallow and North Cork had been of their achievements. Hugs were exchanged with family members, and Johnny’s helper Tony Sheehan got a special welcome home from his wife and children, and his mother Mary. Before everyone headed home, a chorus of ‘Ole, Ole’ went up and everyone sang along in praise of our Paralympic athletes. Johnny made a great start to the boccia competition in London, beating Nural Mohammed from Singapore, but despite putting up a brave battle in the next round he lost 1-7 to another Singaporean Nural Birte Mohammed Taha, whom he had beaten before but could not get the better of this time.

Tom Leahy was competing in the team and individual boccia events but despite some strong performances was defeated.

The third local Para-lympian, Anthony Hegarty, competed in the three-man Sonar sailing competition and finished 10th overall. Well done to them all!