Paul Giblin was one of the most amazing athletes to come out of the west of Ireland in recent years. He was one of the most successful oarsman to come from NUIG BC, with 19 national titles, multiple representations and medals at international level and two medals from the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta.
As a leader and a person, he was inspirational — Even in the face of adversity he drove on, determined to maximise the potential of life, even though he was to be cruelly denied by an illness from which he passed away early last summer.
Now his memory has been honoured, as a boat bearing his name will sail up and down the river as the pride and joy of Cumann Rámhaíochta Choláiste na Coiribe (CRCC ), Galway’s Irish language and ever-growing rowing club.
Last weekend, Paul Giblin’s family and friends gathered for the handing over ceremony in the city.
Irish analytics and information technologies company, Compass Informatics, has provided sponsorship support to Cumann Rámhaíochta Choláiste na Coiribe (CRCC ), which enabled the club to buy a brand new four person racing boat, giving it a 25 per cent increase in training capacity.
Announcing the support, Gearóid Ó Riain, MD Compass Informatics said there are important aspects of what CRCC is doing that they would very much to support and that build on supports they have provided to other organisations over recent years.
“We recognise the importance of youth team sport, of community-based and volunteer-reliant clubs, the richness that comes with using the Irish language as its teanga labhartha, while the Club’s Galway base recognises the longstanding links between Compass Informatics and organisations such as the Marine Institute in Galway and the West,” he said.
Compass already employs over ten skilled staff in Galway as part of a fifty-plus company team in Ireland - a company team that will now faithfully follow the development of the CRCC and its dedicated rowers and volunteers.
CRCC coach Mícheál Ó Marcacháin said that CRCC has grown from five members in 2010 to over 40 young people training every weekend from September to July.
“As a very successful start-up club we have been hamstrung by a lack of equipment to such an extent that we have been unable to accept new members this year; but this very generous sponsorship from Compass Informatics will allow us to cater for even more members.
“The club aims to provide an opportunity for students to socialise as Gaeilge outside the school setting in a fun and healthy environment. With the generous support of our voluntary coaches and committee and the other rowing clubs in Galway (Coláiste Iognáid and NUI Galway. in particular ) the club is rapidly becoming one of the best junior clubs in the country, winning many races including the Men’s Junior 16 coxed quad at the national championships in July 2017. This new, top quality racing boat will allow our dedicated crews who train up to 8 times per week throughout the winter and even more during the summer to perform even better at regattas around the country”.
The new boat, a coxless quad, is named after the soldier, cyclist and champion rower, Paul Giblin, who tragically passed away in 2017 after a long battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With the blessing of Paul’s wife, Cate, and family, the boat will bear his name in Irish. It is appropriate too that Paul’s sister Annie coaches with CRCC and will watch the newb vessel with pride and joy as her late brother is remembered every day on the water where he spent so much time.
The boat was launched on the river Corrib last weekend in the presence of members of Paul’s family, and was blessed by the Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, Dr Brendan Kelly.
Dublin-based Compass Informatics combines GIS, information and location technologies, data and spatial analytics to create management solutions focused on natural resources, planning, environment, and transportation. The company provides high quality, professional data services and software platforms to the Irish, UK and global markets..