Once in a lifetime experience for Tiernach
Published: 13 Sep 2012 14:300 comments
The Volunteer Co-ordinator at ARC Healthy Living in Irvinestown says the games were "an emotional rollercoaster" bringing "the best out in everyone".
And now back to his day job he is determined to apply a little bit of that Paralympic spirit to his daily work ethic.
Tiernach was one of over 870 volunteers working at the Olympic Stadium each day during the Paralympics.
In previous years he was among the hundreds of thousands of spectators cheering from the stands at Athens, Barcelona and Atlanta.
But when London won the bid to host the 2012 games, the Irvinestown man knew he wanted to be more than just a spectator.
"The day London was announced as the winner, within five minutes I phoned my sister in London to say I was staying with her during the Olympics and Paralympics!" he told The Impartial Reporter, "It was a dream come true that they were coming so close to home and being involved is something I had always dreamed about."
True to form, when the opportunity arose to volunteer, he wasted no time in applying.
He says however that the role assigned to him over the course of the fortnight as games-maker was far more significant than he ever could have imagined.
"I just expected I would be doing minor jobs. But whatever I was doing, I wanted to be part of such a momentous occasion.
"We had three training days before we started -- all very intensive training, but when it came down to it, in many ways you were learning on your feet when the Paralympics actually began."
For the first eight days Tiernach's shift ran from 4.30am until 3.30pm. The final three days he worked the later shift -- 2pm until 12.30am.
"On the last night we didn't actually get finished until 2am because we were preparing for the closing ceremony. But nobody minded, we were all just glad to be doing our bit.
"The stadium was to open at 8am every morning -- our goal was to have it ready and opened before that each day. There was only one morning that it opened three minutes later!
"Each day went I back to my sister's house totally and utterly exhausted. I had blisters on my feet but I didn't care -- the whole atmosphere was just so electric that it carried you on. I was supposed to be off on the last Friday, I was so tired, but I said if they needed extra help to let me come in. It was a once in a life time opportunity and I didn't want to miss a minute of it."
Tiernach says the atmosphere throughout the Paralympics was euphoric.
"Everyone was on an adrenaline high -- it's hard to put it into words. Everyone knew that something fantastic was happening."
He says he found his spent in London inspiring.
"If you ask me I think the volunteers really made the games -- it was the best kind of example of people working together for a common goal. I will never get to be involved in anything like that again.
"The night Jason Smyth won for Ireland I was down on the track chatting to his family. And when he took out the Irish flag I was 10 feet away. I'll never get to experience something like that again."
According to Tiernach, the last night was a particularly emotional experience.
"We had been through something so amazing, and we knew we would probably never meet again.
"I got so much more out of volunteering than I ever thought I would and I suppose that's what volunteering is all about really."
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Get more stories from our Roundup section
4 Dec 2013 15:53
.A number of vans have been burgled and damaged in Enniskillen in the past week.
4 Dec 2013 13:11
A 21-year-old woman convicted of stealing from a charity during a shoplifting spree in Enniskillen has walked free from Fermanagh Court.
4 Dec 2013 11:01
A 32-year-old Asda sales assistant accelerated to 100mph to get away from the police car that was following him, Fermanagh Court has heard.
4 Dec 2013 09:30
A 28-year-old pedlar who tried to sell a pair of boots for £10 has been fined £950 after the trailer he was towing broke free and crashed into a pedestrian crossing.
3 Dec 2013 17:07
Two dogs were stolen from a house at Lisblake, Florencecourt, at the weekend. The brown and white six-year-old St. Bernard and one-year-old black labrador were taken between 11pm on Friday and 7am on Saturday.
3 Dec 2013 16:19
The Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen, will host the 6th annual Christmas art exhibition, ‘1FT SQ’, opening next week.
3 Dec 2013 15:00 • Lily Dane
An increase in the prevalence of diabetes is being experienced in the Western Trust area - where a diabetes project in its southern sector has been nationally recognised at a prestigious awards event.
3 Dec 2013 14:32
A 36-year-old factory worker and his 37-year-old wife have been fined £750 after he offered to drive her car because she was feeling unwell.
3 Dec 2013 12:30
The Western Trust has commended its staff after the mid-year performance report was presented at its recent Trust Board meeting.
3 Dec 2013 11:30
The headmaster or Portora Royal School, Mr. Neill Morton, is one of three new members appointed to the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.
3 Dec 2013 10:46
Police are hunting a flasher who indecently exposed himself on the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen at 4.45pm last Wednesday, November 27.
3 Dec 2013 09:30 • Chris Donegan
Police launched their Christmas campaign against drinking and driving with a zero tolerance message of: “Not even one - because just one drink can kill.”
2 Dec 2013 19:30
Police investigating a vehicle fire at Tamlaght, Enniskillen, believe it may have been started deliberately.
2 Dec 2013 17:30 • Lily Dane
A Community Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will once again prove a joyous event this Sunday evening, December 8, at neighbouring Enniskillen churches, St. Michael’s and St. Macartin’s.
2 Dec 2013 15:30
Pete McGrath has named a 40-man provisional squad for the forthcoming season with Roslea’s forward Seamie Quigley returning to the fold.
2 Dec 2013 15:30
A number of trees at Spring Grove Forest on the Clough Road near Rosslea have been illegally felled for fire wood.
2 Dec 2013 14:30
Fermanagh County Museum has received a landmark work of the complete oil paintings of William Scott (1913-1989) to mark his centenary.
2 Dec 2013 13:04
Fermangh is the only county in Northern Ireland yet to put itself on the map by submitting an entry for a prestigious innovation competition.
2 Dec 2013 10:30 • Chris Donegan
A volunteer with the Salvation Army has had his mountain bike stolen.
2 Dec 2013 09:30 • Editorial Department
A 47-year-old homeless man has been jailed for three months for swearing in public.