Conroy went to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with Ireland

Jordan Conroy on escaping domestic abuse and becoming a sevens star

Ireland Sevens player Jordan Conroy escaped domestic abuse as a child to go onto become an Olympian.

His mother, Jennie, was in an abusive marriage which saw her and Conroy subjected to violence. In an emotional HSBC film, Jennie spoke about their ordeal and how they managed to get back to Ireland after living in Germany when Conroy was just ten.

“I remember coming home one day and Jordan had slightly changed. That’s when my world fell apart,” Jennie said. “My ex-husband had hit Jordan in the playground in front of everyone. It escalated and it got very bad.

“One night he broke into the house and I woke up and he was standing over me with a knife. He said ‘if I can’t have you, no one will have you’. Jordan and I devised a plan. He will go that way and I’d go that way. Jordan was going to get out and scream to get help… Jordan screamed his lungs out. He saved us because people got the police.

“After that the judge ruled I could come back to Ireland. So I packed my bags and came home.”

How did Jordan Conroy break into rugby?

In Germany, Conroy was progressing in athletics but in Ireland he wasn’t making the same strides. He tried football but that didn’t work out either. Then rugby found him.

Conroy added: “I was one of the fast kids. All I did was grab the ball and run. After the game he (Ivor Scully, Tullamore captain) came up to me and he just whacks me on the chest and says ‘you’re coming up to senior training. You’re not saying no’ and I was like ‘oh right okay’. That’s where it blossomed out.”

He went onto be selected for Connacht and gained interest with the sevens team but an injury ruled him out for months. Conroy was then dropped by Connacht and so he focused all of his energy on the sevens team. He was selected and he went onto play at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“We get to call ourselves Olympians which a small fraction of the world’s population gets to do. Having that is a bit of a flex.”

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