Orla Barry Announces Her Retirement



Double Paralympic medallist, Orla Barry, has today announced her retirement from Paralympic sport. Barry, who represented Ireland at 3 Paralympic Games in the F57 Discus, is a former World Record holder in the event and she retires having won 9 medals at major events throughout her 13 year career as a high performance para athlete.

Orla has competed in athletics since she was 14 years old and always had the ambition of competing for Ireland at the Paralympic Games. In 2008 she achieved that goal as she competed at the Beijing games as an 18 year old. Her 5th place finish was a sign of things to come as she clinched her first Paralympic medal at the 2012 games in London when she won the bronze medal. In 2013 Orla went on to break the World Record for her event and 2 years later she won the silver medal at the World Para Athletics Championships that year, a result that she repeated two years later in Doha. 2016 marked her best year as an athlete when she claimed the gold medal at the European Championships before recording her best ever performance at the Paralympic Games when she won the Silver Medal in Rio. Orla retires as the European Champion in the F57 Discus having won the gold medal in Berlin in 2018.

Speaking about her retirement Orla Barry said “I have had a wonderful career in Paralympic Sport. I achieved everything that I set out to achieve when I first started competing as a 14 year old girl. I have some amazing memories that I will cherish forever and I have worked with brilliant coaches, competed alongside some incredible athletes and made some lifelong friends.”

“I am entering into a new period in my life as I am building a new house, planning my wedding next year and embarking on a new career. I feel that now is the right time to step away from the sport while I am still at the top and knowing that I would struggle to give the commitment and single minded focus to reach the standards that I have always set for myself and that the sport deserves”

“I would like to thank my coach of 17 years, Pat Furlong, my fellow Irish Paralympic team mates, the staff and support staff at Paralympics Ireland and Sport Ireland for supporting me throughout my career. I would especially like to thank my family who have been a huge part of my journey and without whom I would not have enjoyed the great success that I achieved.”

Paralympics Ireland President, John Fulham said ‘Orla Barry has been a great athlete and a wonderful ambassador for her sport and for her country. She has embodied what it is to be a high performance Para Athlete throughout her brilliant career and I would like to thank her for the dedication that she has shown to her sport. I would like to wish Orla all the very best in the future and I hope that, in the future, she will be able to pass on some of her knowledge to the next generation of Irish Para Athletes that she has inspired.”

Sport Ireland Director of High Performance, Paul McDermott said ‘“Orla Barry has had an outstanding career winning multiple medals and breaking records at the very highest levels of her sport. Sport Ireland is proud to have been associated with her throughout her distinguished career and wants to wish her the very best in the future as she retires from competitive sport. Orla, her family and coaches can reflect on a remarkably successful career with the ultimate accolade of medals at the Paralympic Games. Sport Ireland will now work closely with Orla and Paralympics Ireland to ensure she enjoys a smooth transition away from the High Performance programme.”

Orla Barry’s Medal Record

2012      IPC European Championships, Netherlands         Gold Medal

2012      2012 Paralympic Games, London                           Bronze Medal

2013      IPC World Para Athletics, Lyon                                Silver Medal

2014      IPC European Championships, Swansea                Silver Medal

2015      IPC World Para Athletics, Doha                               Silver Medal

2016      IPC European Athletics Champs, Italy                    Gold Medal

2016      2016 Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro               Silver Medal

2018      IPC European Athletics Champs, Berlin                 Gold Medal



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