GOREY'S swimming hero Darragh McDonald has spoken out strongly in support of the Central Remedial Clinic as the controversy over pension payments to its former director Paul Kiely rumbles on.
'I refuse to allow the service itself to be badmouthed when it did so much for me,' he said in a tweet to his Twitter followers over the weekend.
He invited media interviews so he could highlight the fantastic work done by the staff at the CRC.
He described the after-effects of the scandal on the organisation's fundraising as 'unacceptable'.
'The service is suffering because people see it in a bad light, and don't differentiate between the service and its management,' he said.
Darragh (19) was born without legs below his knees, and the lower portion of his right arm.
For his first seven years, he learned to walk using prosthetic legs with the help of the weekly visits to the staff of the CRC, and he went on to take up swimming, picking up a silver medal at the Beijing Paralympics at the age of 14, and a gold medal in the London Paralympics in 2012, as well as a World Championship gold.
He credits the staff of the CRC for giving him the independence to follow his remarkable sporting career and have a normal life like any other teenager.