Paul Dunne has been described as a “fantastic role model” and “great inspiration for other people” at a civic reception held in his honour in the Greystones Golf Club last night.
The reception was organised by Wicklow County Council in conjunction with Greystones Municipal District and the Greystones Golf Club, and was held to celebrate the achievements of Paul Dunne – including his win at the British Masters last year.
The event featured speeches from representatives of Wicklow County Council, the Municipal District, and the golf club. Every speaker praised Dunne’s work ethic and commitment and wished him well in the future.
Speaking during the reception, chief executive of Wicklow County Council Frank Curran described Paul as a “fantastic role model” and a “wonderful ambassador both on-and-off the golf course”, while leas-cathaoirleach of Greystones Municipal District Derek Mitchell called him a “great inspiration for other people”.
Barry Massey, captain of the Greystones Golf Club, downplayed the club’s role in his development when he said that “we didn’t produce him” and that he “had the same playing rights as every other child.”
Massey said that everyone at the club was “immensely proud of his achievements”. He said that if you had asked Paul who he emulated when he was younger he would say Tiger Woods or Padraig Harrington before saying that, in a few years, if you “ask the kids who they want to be they’ll say Paul Dunne.”
When it was his time to speak, Dunne described the occasion as “more nerve-wrecking than trying to win a tournament”.
He thanked the people who have supported him up to this point before joking that his girlfriend would not be too happy to hear that he was inspired by Tiger Woods. He said that it was “overwhelming to see so many people here”.
Paul reserved special thanks for his family. He said that there was “never an opportunity that I wasn’t given” and that he felt fortunate to have a family that he got along with so well.
He thanked his father for teaching him how to play golf in the first place before saying that his response to any signs of gratitude would be “I’m a dad, that’s my job”.
He thanked his mother for always keeping his feet firmly on the ground and for driving him to the club every day when he was younger before joking that, if she were to write a book, it would be called “The Yellow Door” because that is where she always dropped him.
Speaking to WicklowNews after the speeches were complete, Barry Massey lauded Dunne even more. He said that, even when he was a junior golfer with the club, they “always knew he was different”. He described Dunne as “gritty” and that “he was here morning, noon, and night”.
“He would have made it regardless of where he started. He is just that kind of talent,” Massey said.