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Irish Paralympic Team honoured at Inaugural OCS Irish Paralympic Awards

IRISH PARALYMPIC TEAM HONOURED AT INAUGURAL OCS IRISH PARALYMPIC AWARDS OCS Irish Paralympic Sports Award Winners:
  • Outstanding Male
  • Performance – Jason Smyth & Michael McKillop
  • Outstanding Female Performance – Bethany Firth
  • Outstanding Games Debut Performance – Mark Rohan
  • Young Paralympian of the Games – Darragh McDonald
OCS Irish Paralympic Media Award Winners:
  • TV Broadcast – Setanta Sports
  • Radio Broadcast – Adrian Eames, RTE
  • Photographic Image – Brian Lawless, Sportsfile
  • Written (Print or Web) – Malachy Clerkin, The Irish Times
OCS Irish Paralympic Merit Award Recipients:
  • Hall of Fame – David Malone
  • Irish Paralympic Order – Anne Ebbs
  • President’s Award – Colm Murray, RTE
President of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven attends ceremony Athletes, coaches, sponsors and supporters of the 2012 Irish Paralympic Team gathered in the Moran Red Cow Hotel this evening for the Inaugural OCS Irish Paralympic Awards Ceremony. The gala event, proudly sponsored by OCS Ireland is the first of its kind in Irish Paralympic Sport, honouring the achievements, successes and contributions of the Irish Paralympic team and its support network over the London cycle. The prestigious nature of the event was reflected by the attendance of Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) along with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Leo Varadkar TD. Speaking from the event, IPC President, Sir Philip Craven said:
“The Irish performance in London was outstanding, created a huge stir within the movement globally and is testament to the tremendous work that has been done by Irish athletes & coaches and also Paralympics Ireland as an organisation.”
Commenting further, Craven added,
“Looking to the future it will be important to build on this success and enable this successful formula to continue to develop and grow as we move towards Rio 2016.”
  Addressing the audience, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Leo Varadkar stated:
“The Irish success in London was astounding and I was privileged to be able to attend a number of events during the Paralympic Games. Paralympics Ireland deserves great recognition for the work put in to the preparation of the team and we can all look forward with anticipation to Rio.”
  MD of OCS Europe, Cecil Ryan stated:
“OCS are privileged to have shared the journey to London 2012 with Paralympics Ireland and are delighted to celebrate the stunning success of the team at this inaugural hosting of the OCS Irish Paralympic Awards. On behalf of the team at OCS we’d like to congratulate all members of the 2012 Irish Paralympic Team on their amazing success and providing a he lift and inspiring the whole nation for 11 wonderful days in September.”
The awards recognise the achievements of Paralympic athletes and staff in a of number categories including Outstanding Male Performance, Outstanding Female Performance, Outstanding Games Debut Performance, Young Paralympian of the Games, and Outstanding Member of the Irish Paralympic Team (Non-Athlete). Reflecting the incredible success of the team in London, the Outstanding Male Performance was eventually shared between sprint sensation, Jason Smyth and middle distance expert Michael McKillop while the Outstanding Female Performance was awarded to the teenage swimmer, Bethany Firth. Outstanding Games Debut Performance went to handcycling double gold medallist Mark Rohan with Young Paralympian of the Games being awarded to swimming gold medallist Darragh McDonald. Speaking after receiving his award, Rohan said,
“This has been such an unbelievable year, it is hard to put into words. Since coming back from London, the support has been phenomenal and this award brings the year to a close in a very nice way.”
  Outstanding member of the Irish Paralympic team 2012 (non-athlete) was awarded to Cycling team manager Denis Toomey who founded Irish Paracycling in 2001 and has steered and overseen its growth to record success in London of two gold, one silver and two bronze medals. The awards also recognise achievements in other areas including Media Awards for Best TV, Radio, and Photographic Coverage as well as best written piece. Also presented on the evening was the Irish Paralympic Hall of Fame Award to triple Paralympic medallist at Atlanta, Sydney and Athens; swimmer Dave Malone, and the Irish Paralympic Order was presented to the lady known by one and all involved in Paralympic sport to have been the founder of the Paralympic Council of Ireland; the name by which Paralympics Ireland was formerly known; Anne Ebbs. She was the first Secretary General of the Paralympic Council of Ireland and served from 1987-2008 in that role. Anne was instrumental in developing national recognition for Paralympic Sport and securing support from State Agencies. The final award of the night was the President’s Award; an award to a person outside the Paralympic movement in Ireland for their outstanding contribution to, and support of, Irish Paralympic sport and the recipient was RTE TV Sport broadcaster Colm Murray who covered three consecutive Paralympic Games for RTE and has been a wonderful supporter of Irish Paralympic sport for many years. The award was collected on behalf of Colm by his sister Cathy Murray. The full list of winners is below. For further information contact, John Fulham at Tel: 087-2709182, email: communications@paralympics.ie or Sinead Naughton at Tel: 087 633 8512 email: sinead@paralympics.ie. Imagery from the event is available from Photocall Ireland www.photocallireland.com 01 874 7124 info@photocallireland.com Inaugural OCS Irish Paralympic Awards Winners OCS Irish Paralympic Sports Awards:
  • Outstanding Male Performance – Jason Smyth & Michael McKillop
  • Outstanding Female Performance – Bethany Firth
  • Outstanding Games Debut Performance – Mark Rohan
  • Young Paralympian of the Games – Darragh McDonald
  • Outstanding Member of the Irish Paralympic Team (Non-Athlete) – Denis Toomey
OCS Irish Paralympic Media Awards:
  • TV Broadcast – Setanta Sports
  • Radio Broadcast – Adrian Eames, RTE
  • Photographic Image – Brian Lawless, Sportsfile
  • Written (Print or Web) – Malachy Clerkin, The Irish Times
OCS Irish Paralympic Merit Awards:
  • Hall of Fame – David Malone
  • Irish Paralympic Order – Anne Ebbs
  • President’s Award – Colm Murray, RTE
 

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