Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., was on hand at the Clayton Hotel, Dublin Airport today to bid farewell to members of the Irish Paralympic team ahead of their flight to Brazil this afternoon.
Athletes from the football, table tennis, canoeing, shooting and athletics squads were in attendance at the event along with Olympic silver medalist, Annalise Murphy.
Speaking on the day, Minister O’Donovan addressed the departing athletes: “The Government is fully committed and supportive of the team and Paralympics Ireland. I would particularly like to express gratitude to the families of the athletes; the parents, partners, siblings and children for the unwavering support you have given to them. What you have already achieved is massive and your country is hugely proud of you. Today is your day, we wish you well and every success. The Government is immensely proud of what you are about to embark on.”
Meanwhile, due to the decision earlier this week by the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) to uphold the International Paralympic Committee’s suspension of Russia from the Paralympic Games, Ireland has been awarded an extra slot in cycling, with tandem cycling pair Peter Ryan (Co. Tipperary) and Marcin Mizgajski (Co. Wexford) joining the squad. The duo will compete in the Men’s B Tandem Time Trial (Road) and the Men’s B Tandem Road Race.
Elsewhere, there has been one change to the football team, with Cork’s Peter Cotter coming in to replace Jordan Walker (Belfast).