Ireland Announces London 2012 Paralympic Team

The Irish Paralympic team will be made up of 49 athletes, including Paralympic champions Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop. 28 Jun 2012
Michael McKillop

Michael McKillop set a new world record at the London 2012 Athletics test event in the Olympic Stadium.

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For the first time ever Ireland will compete in Shooting and Rowing at a Paralympic Games.

Minister of State for the Department of Transport, Sport and Tourism Michael Ring T.D. was on hand at the RDS, Dublin on Thursday (28 June) to announce the Irish Paralympic Team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The team is composed of 49 athletes, representing 20 different counties who will compete across 10 sports in London and be the largest Irish team since the Atlanta 1996 Games.

The 2012 Irish Paralympic team contains five reigning world champions in Athletics and Para-Cycling and two defending Paralympic champions, athletes Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop.

For the first time ever Ireland will compete in Shooting and Rowing at a Paralympic Games.

Speaking at the team announcement, Minister of State Michael Ring TD, commented:

“I would like to congratulate the 49 athletes on their selection for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Very few people get the opportunity to represent their country at such a high level. It’s a tremendous honour and the athletes, their families and friends should be very proud. I have no doubt that our athletes will be great ambassadors for Ireland and for their respective sports. I would like to extend my very best wishes to the team in their preparations for the Games.”

Paralympics Ireland CEO and Chef de Mission for the Irish Team, Liam Harbison, said:

“Today’s team announcement is the culmination of a huge effort by everyone involved in Paralympic Sport in Ireland. The preparation, coordination and management of the Irish Team is a huge task, which would not have been possible without the continuing support of the Irish Sports Council, Sport NI and our sponsors and partners. Their support has enabled us to prepare 49 athletes to compete and excel at the London2012 Paralympic Games. It’s time for us to make a return on the faith and investment placed in us by them all – we aim to deliver.”

The Irish Paralympic team is now headed to Antrim for the first Paralympics Ireland training camp in Northern Ireland from June 28 – July 1. The team will attend the final Renault Ireland Team 2012 Training Camp in Limerick in August before heading to Portugal on 16 August for the ISC Pre-Games Holding Camp.

The team will then travel directly from Portugal to take their place in the Paralympic Village in London on the 24 August in advance of the Opening Ceremony on the 29 August.

The Irish Paralympic Team kit manufactured by O’Neills was also unveiled at the announcement. The team kit was designed in collaboration with Paralympics Ireland to reflect the dynamic and elite nature of Paralympic sport.

Live coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics Games will be available in Ireland on Freeview on Setanta Sports.