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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

Senator calls on RTÉ to televise parts of the National Special Olympics

The national broadcaster says they’ll include some coverage in news bulletins but have no plans to show live coverage.

Representatives of Special Olympics Ireland participate in the 'Peoples Parade' ahead of the main St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin.
Representatives of Special Olympics Ireland participate in the 'Peoples Parade' ahead of the main St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin.
Image: Laura Hutton via Photocall Ireland

A LABOUR SENATOR is criticising RTÉ for not planning to show live coverage of the National Special Olympics which start in Limerick this week.

Mary Moran has set up a petition calling on RTÉ to televise the opening ceremony and part of the finals.

RTÉ has said that they will include some coverage in news bulletins and current affairs programmes but has no plans to broadcast live coverage of the games.

Moran said that everyone can remember the excitement and goodwill which was generated all over the country when the Special Olympic World Games were held in Ireland in 2003.

As both Seanad Spokesperson on Disability and Equality and as a mother to a Special Olympics Athlete, I am disappointed that there is no planned live TV coverage by our national broadcaster RTE of the national Special Olympics finals to be held in Limerick.

She added that as Limerick is the city of culture this year, it would be an ideal way to promote tourism.

The Special Olympics Ireland Games kick off with the Opening Ceremony at the People’s Park on June 12 and will finish on June 15.

A third of all people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland are involved in the organisation compared with an average of 2 per cent in most other countries.

Senator Moran said that:

In a time when we say we want to promote equality and inclusion in our country, I feel we owe it to our 1,500 athletes, to the 3000 volunteers and the thousands of spectators and family members who will attend the games; to showcase the real determination, competitive spirit, sportsmanship, friendships and courage that will be in evidence in abundance.

Read: New €5m headquarters for Special Olympics will ‘yield significant savings>

Read: My brother Stevie got the skills, says Special Olympics ambassador Seamus Coleman>

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