Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 10 October 2015

Paint our postboxes gold to celebrate Paralympic winners, says Dame Mary Peters

By Anna Maguire

Published 05/09/2012

Dame Mary Peters
Dame Mary Peters

Olympic heroine Dame Mary Peters has called on Royal Mail to paint postboxes gold in honour of Northern Ireland’s Paralympic winners.

While Northern Ireland celebrates the weekend gold rush — which saw Team Ireland paralympians Bethany Firth, Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop clinch three gold medals in 48 hours — Royal Mail is sticking to the rule book.

The postal service has been painting postboxes gold in villages and towns in other parts of the UK where a local athlete has stormed to victory in either the Olympics or Paralympics.

More than 50 post boxes have been earmarked for the gold gloss treatment.

But that visible celebration of odds-defying Paralympic gold medallists will not be extended here any time soon.

Royal Mail has said that the novelty is only for Team GB paralympians.

While insisting that they were aware of the local context which has led to some Paralympians representing Team Ireland, a Royal Mail spokesman said there are no plans to extend the policy.

Dame Mary told the Belfast Telegraph: “They (Paralympians) work harder than the Olympians — and I think this would be justice for them.

“So yes, definitely, I would like to see this. I think it would be just lovely.”

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, also added her support for the idea.

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