An Taoiseach Officially Launches Dublin 2018

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An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, welcomed Irish Para Athletes, Ailbhe Kelly and Patrick Flanagan to Government Buildings on Monday to officially launch the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships. Councillor Nial Ring, Lord Mayor of Dublin City Council was also in attendance along with representatives of championship sponsors, Allianz Ireland and host partners; Sport Ireland, Swim Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Paralympics Ireland.

Ireland will host it’s first ever major para sporting event when the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre is the venue for this historic event. The 8 person Irish Team of Ailbhe Kelly, Patrick Flanagan, Ellen Keane, Jonathan McGrath, Sean O’Riordan, Nicole Turner, James Scully and Barry McClements will hope to be inspired towards podium performances in front of their home crowd.

Dublin 2018 will get underway on Monday, August 13th as over 400 athletes from 37 countries compete at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre for European Para Swimming honours. 476 individual races in 167 events will take place throughout the 7 days of the championships.

There are 4 host partners to Dublin 2018 who were all represented at the official launch including Emma Jane Clarke (Partnership and Governance Manager) from Sport Ireland, Sarah Keane (CEO) and Maggie Purcell (President) of Swim Ireland, Paul Kelly (CEO) of Fáilte Ireland along with John Fulham (President) and Miriam Malone (CEO) of Paralympics Ireland.

Speaking at the launch An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said ‘Hosting this event is a great honour for our country and we can’t wait to welcome some incredible para athletes from right across the continent to Dublin. Bringing this event to Dublin has been a major undertaking and I would like to compliment the Local Organising Committee, the Host Partners and sponsors for their efforts to bring this event together. It will be a proud moment as our athletes, including Patrick Flanagan and Ailbhe Kelly, get to compete in front of our legendary Irish sporting fans. I'm really looking forward to the event and I would like to wish Team Ireland the very best of luck throughout the week.’

Miriam Malone, Chairperson of the Dublin 2018 Local Organising Committee and CEO of Paralympics Ireland said ‘It was a great honour to be invited to Government Buildings by An Taoiseach to officially launch the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships which get underway in just 2 weeks time. Having the support of Taoiseach Varadkar and of the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport has been a major factor in bringing this event to Dublin and we now look forward to getting the action underway in the National Aquatic Centre on Monday week.’