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Friday 28 October 2016

Disabled athlete's hopes for Rio in jeopardy after callous thieves take adapted car

Martin Grant

Published 25/04/2016 | 15:20

John McCarthy. Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
John McCarthy. Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

A DISABLED man has been left house-bound and his hopes to qualify for the Rio Paralympics have been left in jeopardy after thugs stole his specially adapted car.

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John McCarthy has been left devastated after callous criminals broke into his Dublin home, whilst he was sleeping, and stole the keys to be adapted car - an Audi A6 - before driving off.

The incident occurred last night at the Abbeywood estate in Lucan, Co Dublin. The athlete decided to go to bed at around 11.30pm and woke up this morning at 6am to discover his keys had been lifted from the kitchen table and his car had been robbed from the driveway.

The callous incident means the Cork native cannot drive to his training sessions in Santry and Clontarf.

"I’m a wheelchair user and the car is adapted for me to drive," John told this afternoon.

"I’m really restricted, I can’t get to work, I can’t train…I can’t get out really without this car.

"I didn’t hear any noise, they didn’t even move anything on the kitchen table. They just lifted the keys and went. They came for the car and that was it."

The theft now means the winning champion may miss out on attending a crucial qualifier in the UK this weekend. John had planned on getting a ferry and drive to the venue, but his plans are now on hold.

He said: "As a disabled person I can’t just go and hire a car, they are not easily available to do that.

"I can’t get to training properly without the car.

"I need the car…the car is my life basically. I can get taxis, but that’s just not viable for those sort of journeys. Your pocket wouldn’t last too long."

The car is a black Audi A6, with registration number of 12 C 11586

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