Limerick hailed ‘gentleman’ Greg O’Shea (24) as the Shannon rugby star proved the winner and undoubted romantic hero of ‘Love Island’.
Pubs and clubs across the city erupted in cheers as the former Munster Rugby Academy star not only took the 2019 ‘Love Island’ title but won widespread plaudits for his generous decision to share the £50,000 top prize with his on-show partner, Amber Gill from Newcastle.
Cheers of “good man Greg’ echoed around the 101 Club in Limerick city centre where the packed pub had watched the finale of the top-rated Virgin Media show.
When the Limerick rugby player drew the £50,000 (€54,800) top prize with the right to keep the entire winnings himself but then selflessly decided to share it with Amber, women throughout the pub screamed themselves hoarse in applause.
The Corbally native, a late-comer to the island and the show, defied the bookies’ predictions as he took the public vote and the title with his on-show partner, Amber Gill from Newcastle.
Now, Limerick locals are predicting a glittering media career for the personable young Corbally rugby player who defied an horrific Achilles injury to establish an Irish Sevens career.
His sister, Laura, said everyone was “very proud” of how he stayed true to himself on the show.
“It was lovely to see him smiling and so happy on the show,” she said.
“It is wonderful to see him enjoying himself so much because so far his life has been all about rugby, college and his studies.”
Greg and Amber beat the hot favourites Tommy and Molly-Mae to clinch the title as ‘Love Island’ winners 2019.
And they looked stunned when host Caroline Flack told them they were the winners.
Amber said she could “not believe it”, while Greg added: “This is crazy.”
Limerick rallied to support Greg whose sporting connections proudly go back three generations locally.
The city was dotted with special ‘Love Island’ parties in pubs and clubs.
The Black Rabbit on Carr Street hosted its own special ‘Love Island’ viewing event.
Its party featured romance-themed Daiquiri cocktails blended in honour of Greg.
In the 101 Club on O’Connell Street, Ireland’s Eurovision star, Sarah McTernan joined with friends Chloe Markham and Lara Horton to watch the grand finale.
“I think he has really represented Limerick and Ireland so well out there – he has come across as a really nice Irish guy,” Sarah said.
Lara said that the soft-spoken and polite Irishman had offered a welcome contrast to the “toxic bad boys” that had been a previous hallmark of the show.
“It was a victory for the nice guys,” she said.
“I am absolutely delighted that he won it.”
His fans are now preparing for a rousing welcome home party.
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