Paralympics Ireland is calling on members of the public in a bid to find and contact every Irish Paralympic athlete since the first Paralympic Games in Rome, in 1960.
The initiative, known as ‘Paralympian Recognition Programme’, was officially launched on 2 July at the ‘More Than Sport’ fundraising ball and is organised by the Athletes’ Commission.
Each Irish Paralympian will receive a pin and a unique number in order to recognise their contribution to the Paralympic Movement in Ireland.
Paralympian Oliver Murphy received the first one and Anne Ebbs, who founded the Paralympic Council of Ireland (now Paralympics Ireland) in 1987, received the number 22.
"It takes great sacrifice, hard work and massive dedication to become a Paralympian. It is a very unique group as, since the first Games in 1960, just over 250 athletes have been afforded the honour of being selected to be an Irish Paralympian,” said James McCarthy, Chair of the Athletes' Commission.
“It is fitting that with Rio 2016 on the horizon, Paralympics Ireland will recognise and celebrate the achievement of each Paralympian and will acknowledge their contribution, not just to Paralympic sport, but to sport in Ireland.”
Paralympics Ireland Vice-President and candidate for the IPC Athletes’ Council elections Eimear Breathnach said: “The success of our current Paralympic Programme is built on the strong foundations laid down by former Irish athletes.
“We hope to honour all of these Irish Paralympian's through this programme, which will provide an outlet for Irish Paralympic Athletes to receive the recognition that all Paralympian's deserve.”
Paralympics Ireland is hoping members of the public will be able to help locate and get in contact with all past Irish Paralympic athletes. If you have any information about an athlete, you can contact Paralympics Ireland on [email protected]
A special gala will be held in 2017 to acknowledge the athletes.
The list of Paralympians that has been compiled to date can be found online.