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Sunday 4 December 2016

Paralympic heroes honoured at the Áras

Laura Larkin

Published 13/10/2016 | 02:30

President Higgins with with double medal winning Paralympian, Eoghan Clifford his daughter Zofia at Áras an Uachtaráin. Photo: Colin Keegan
President Higgins with with double medal winning Paralympian, Eoghan Clifford his daughter Zofia at Áras an Uachtaráin. Photo: Colin Keegan

Ireland's Paralympic athletes were treated to a presidential reception on the back of a stellar performance at the Rio Games.

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President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina welcomed members of Team Ireland, along with their families, friends and backroom staff, to Áras an Uachtaráin.

Team Ireland picked up 11 medals at this year's games.

The President said that Ireland was "grateful and proud" of the efforts the athletes had invested in the Games, which were borne out by their results. Team Ireland exceeded the target of eight medals set out in advance of the games.

"You know only too well how tight the margins are between winning and losing at the level of competing in excellence; how much courage it takes to face up to those margins, to accept the risks, to commit to the ethic of competing, of being tested rigorously and accepting the outcome, whatever it is," he told the athletes.

"You are part of that remarkable elite known as Irish Olympians. Your experience and achievements will serve to inspire the imagination of others," added the President.

Michael McKillop, who achieved a Gold in Rio, said the day was a great chance to meet up with members of the team again.

"It was a tough Games and being able to come home with 11 medals was a great success for our team and you can see that a lot of those are newcomers. For me to win a gold medal was great but for the team to come back with that result shows the public that the Irish Paralympic team are there to be the best," he said.

Irish Independent

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