Helen Kearney confirmed as Irish Equestrian Athlete for 2016 Paralympic Games
- 6 July 2016, 11:09
Wicklow Para Dressage rider Helen Kearney has been officially confirmed as Ireland’s Equestrian Athlete for the 2016 Paralympic Games where she will ride the stallion Rock and Roll 2. The Games will take place from September 7th to 18th.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan T.D, announced the 44-strong team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Dublin City Hall on Tuesday.
Helen Kearney (pictured) won three medals at the London 2012 Paralympics, individual silver and bronze along with helping the Irish team secure team bronze.
The Irish Paralympic team will compete across nine different sports at the Games in Rio. Speaking at the team announcement, Minister of State O’Donovan commented: “I would like to congratulate all of the athletes on their selection for the 2016 Paralympic Games. It is a tremendous honour for each of the 44 athletes who have been selected to represent Ireland at the Rio Games and they can all be very proud of that achievement. I have no doubt that they will be wonderful ambassadors for Ireland and for their respective sports. I would like to wish all of the athletes well in their final preparations for Rio.”
Chef de Mission for the Irish Team, Denis Toomey, commented: “Team announcement day is a major milestone on Paralympic Ireland’s road To Rio.
As Chef de Mission, it has been both an honour and a privilege to be tasked with telling the nation who the lucky athletes are and I certainly look forward to leading them all to Rio for the Games.”
Paralympic Performance Director, Dave Malone, spoke about the Irish Paralympic Team’s performance goals for Rio 2016: “Irish athletes will go to Rio this September and compete for glory against approximately 4,350 athletes from all parts of the world over the course of 11 days.
“The team is ready to achieve great personal and collective success at the Games, and their performances throughout the qualification process for Rio indicates that a medal target of eight for the team is achievable. We also anticipate a large number of finals from the team, and we are seeking career best performances from as many of the team as possible on the biggest stage of all.”
Horse Sport Ireland have nominated Rosemary Gaffney and her horse Bink as the non-travelling reserve combination.