The world’s fastest Paralympian Jason Smyth will headline Ireland’s 44-strong Paralympic team for Rio 2016, which was announced on Tuesday (5 July) at Dublin’s City Hall.
The team also features London 2012 athletics gold medallist Michael McKillop, Doha 2015 World Championships discus throw F57 silver medallist Orla Barry and discus throw F38 world record holder Noelle Lenihan.
The 21-year-old swimmer Ellen Keane will attend her third Paralympics, whilst James Scully will be returning for his second Games in swimming.
Pat O'Leary will be Ireland’s sole representative in canoe, which will make its Paralympic debut in Rio. There are also hopes that the country will have athletes qualified for the triathlon event, with the qualification window for this sport scheduled to close later in July.
Speaking at the team announcement, Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan said: “I would like to congratulate all of the athletes on their selection for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
“It is a tremendous honour for each of the 44 athletes who have been selected to represent Ireland in Rio and they can all be very proud of that achievement.
“I have no doubt that they will be wonderful ambassadors for Ireland and for their respective sports. I would like to wish all of the athletes well in their final preparations for Rio.”
Ireland’s Rio 2016 Chef de Mission Denis Toomey added: “As Chef de Mission, it has been both an honour and a privilege to be tasked with telling the nation who the lucky athletes are and I certainly look forward to leading them all to Rio for the Games.”
Paralympic Performance Director, Dave Malone, spoke about the Irish Paralympic Team’s performance goals for Rio 2016: “Irish athletes will go to Rio this September and compete for glory against approximately 4,350 athletes from all parts of the world over the course of 11 days.”
The first wave of athletes will depart on 23 August and will train at the Irish Holding Camp in Uberlandia, Brazil, which has been set up with the support of Sport Ireland.
Coverage of the Rio 2016 Paralympics Games will be available on RTE on TV, radio and online.
Katie-George Dunlevy (and pilot Eve McCrystal)
Damien Vereker (and pilot Seán Hahessy)
Rena McCarron Rooney
More information is available on Paralympics Ireland’s website.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.
Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.