Pull Like A Dog

2016, 54 minutes

In August 2016 Gary and Paul O’Donovan, two young rowers from West Cork, came from nowhere to become household names after bolting their way to silver medal success at the Rio Olympics. Not only did they become the first ever Irish rowers to bring home Olympic medals but within a week Paul also went on to become the fastest singles lightweight rower on the planet by winning gold at the World Championships. With catch phrases like ‘Pull Like A Dog’ and ‘Stheak and Spuds’ these two young men have succeeded in warming the hearts of a nation.

This special one-hour documentary follows the O’Donovan brothers as they return to their parish of Lisheen and Skibbereen rowing club in the aftermath of their success. We spend time in their home, on the beautiful river Ilen and inside their small club, which this year became the most successful club in Irish rowing history. While getting to know Paul (22) and Gary (23) we get a glimpse inside this minority sport and an understanding as to what it takes to achieve such success on water. 

We also get to meet their wonder coach Dominic Casey as we figure out whats in the water in Skibbereen. How has this small rural club achieve such success under his watch? We also get to meet their father Teddy, who coached them during their early years and their mother Trish who also became a household name during the Olympics. 

Our story starts in Cork airport as Gary & Paul return after Olympic and World Championship success to a huge manic reception and the realisation that life has changed for these two ordinary, yet extraordinary brothers. 


One of the most revealing and insightful portraits of any athletes in years.
Evening Herald

Inspiring stuff. Packed with comedy moments while a fascinating look into how the O’Donovan Brothers deal with pain. Another outstanding documentary from RTE.

A fascinating, riveting and very serious documentary.
The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, Today FM


Pull Like A Dog from Wildfire Films.


Director of Photography Barry Donnellan
Editor Brenda Morrissey
Executive Producer Martha O'Neill
Producer / Director Adrian McCarthy


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Pull Like A DogWednesday, December 14, 2016