Comments by Séamus Brennan, T.D.,
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism,
on victory by Padraig Harrington
in the 2007 British Open Golf Championship
"All of Ireland is extremely proud of Padraig Harrington's achievement in winning one of the worlds most prestigious sporting events and in bridging the 60 years gap since Fred Daly's famous victory in the Championship.
I spoke to Padraig at Carnoustie Golf Club just hours after his great win and passed on to him the heartiest congratulations of the Taoiseach, the entire Government and the people of Ireland on his historic and memorable victory. I told him that he has now earned a place for himself as one of the legends of Irish sport whose achievement last Sunday evening will long be remembered and spoken and written of with pride.
Padraig has for many years been a great Irish ambassador, not just for golf and sport in general, but also as a person who has epitomised the generosity and spirit of the Irish people. His dedication and enthusiasm in supporting projects to encourage greater participation in golf and sport in general, and particularly for those who are disadvantaged, is a testament to his commitment to making sports available to all, regardless of age or background.
Hailing as he does from Stackstown Golf Club in my own South Dublin Constituency, I am doubly pleased and proud of his magnificent achievement. I want to again acknowledge and to salute his leadership and generosity over many years in supporting and encouraging projects that seek to deliver greater participation in sport.
Through his winning of this most coveted of trophies Padraig has yet again shown Ireland's inspirational and enduring ability to continue to punch above its weight in international sporting events".