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Dad's strength will inspire me at Olympics, says IRA kidnap survivor's daughter

By Staff Reporter

Published 27/07/2016

Don Tidey's daughter Saskia who will compete in Rio
Don Tidey's daughter Saskia who will compete in Rio
Don Tidey

The daughter of a Dublin businessman subjected to a kidnapping ordeal by the IRA has spoken about how he inspires her as she prepares to compete in the Olympics.

Supermarket boss Don Tidey was snatched by the IRA on November 23, 1983, and held captive in a Co Leitrim wood for 23 days before he was rescued by gardai.

The terrorists had hoped to net a huge ransom in exchange for his life.

Now, his daughter Saskia has revealed she counts her father as one of her idols.

With just two weeks to go until she competes in her first sailing event in Rio, she is determined to make him proud.

"He is a very strong person who has always encouraged me to do whatever I believed in doing," the 23-year-old said.

"I'm so proud to go to the Olympics for him to see me. He has given me a huge insight into how to work as a team and what has been successful for him, and I can draw maybe some experience from that.

"He's a very keen sportsman. He's 81 and still running around and very active. That to me is a massive motivation.

"I'm very proud to be my dad's daughter."

Her parents joined her in Rio a few weeks ago to see the venue, but will watch the games on TV at their Glenageary home.

Saskia was speaking at the announcement of Team Ireland's six sailing athletes for the Olympics, where she will compete with Andrea Brewster in the women's 49erFX. Although they are a relatively new team, the duo are optimistic.

Saskia said: "We have definitely proven in the past we can throw in some top ten results, and our biggest goal in the Olympics is to bring in a consistent series and, with sailing, it's all about consistency.

"We want to go out there and give it everything we've got. If we have a very consistent week, yes, there is a possibility, but for us our main focus is on the process and go out and try to bring home a consistent string of results."

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