Dean Clancy receives a special presentation from Connacht IABA Chairman Joe Hennigan last Sunday. Photo by Willie Donnellan
Attention in Manorhamilton might have been focused mainly on Déarbhla Rooney last Sunday but for fellow Youth Olympian Dean Clancy, Sunday’s reception was like a welcome home and one he was immensely grateful for, writes John Connolly.
The little known fact is that Dean’s father Jason is a native of Manorhamilton and learned his boxing trade under John Gilligan in Sean McDermott Boxing Club so on Sunday night, it was like a home away from home for Dean.
“Yeah, my Dad is from Leitrim and my granny is from here in Manorhamilton, just literally across the road here. The support is absolutely amazing from everyone, I’ve never had a welcome home like this before, this is something different, something special.”
Looking back on his own achievements this year, Dean, like Déarbhla, is already setting his sights on the Olympics - “Probably the best year I’ve ever had in my life, just amazing. I’ve done it all. From the start of the year, I said I wanted to get to the Olympics, get to the Europeans and every goal I set I’ve done.
“The Olympics is something special, a different experience. You’re in an elevator with little gymnasts, big massive hammer throwers, big lanky basketball players, the whole atmosphere is different. I just want to keep progressing, keep learning on and on to 2024 hopefully.”