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Dublin: 0°C Sunday 24 January 2021

Former Tipp minor hurler qualifies for Rio Paralympics after expulsion of Russian athletes

Ireland’s athletes depart for Rio this afternoon.

Peter Ryan is heading to Rio with Team Ireland.
Peter Ryan is heading to Rio with Team Ireland.
Image: Sportsfile

IRELAND’S PARALYMPIC TEAM has increased to 48 members this afternoon with the news tandem cycling pair Peter Ryan and Marcin Mizgakski have secured a place at the Rio Games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) decision to uphold the International Paralympic Committee’s suspension of Russia from the forthcoming Games means Ireland have been awarded an extra berth in cycling.

Former Tipperary minor hurler Ryan will compete in the Men’s B Tandem Time Trial and the Men’s B Tandem Road Race with his pilot as they join the eight other cyclists on Team Ireland.

Ryan was diagnosed with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), a rare genetic disorder resulting in substantial sight loss, at the age of 19.

The Tipp native played Dr Harty Cup hurling for three years for Thurles CBS and in 2008 he featured in the All-Ireland (Croke Cup) final against a De La Salle team that contained players like current Waterford senior hurlers Noel Connors and Pauric Mahony.

Ryan, who took up the sport of tandem cycling in 2013, will leave for Rio with the remainder of Team Ireland this afternoon.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan, was on hand at Dublin Airport earlier to wish the athletes well ahead of the Games.

“The Government is fully committed and supportive of the team and Paralympics Ireland,” he said.

“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.”

Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy was also in attendance at the function before she heads back to Dun Laoghaire where a civic reception is being held in the People’s Park for the sailor this evening.


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Ryan Bailey

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