Monday 26 September 2016

Paralympian footballers determined to bring medals home despite setbacks

Published 26/08/2016 | 02:30

Paralympic footballer Gary Messett with his partner Holly and three-week-old daughter Poppie Photo: Mark Condren
Paralympic footballer Gary Messett with his partner Holly and three-week-old daughter Poppie Photo: Mark Condren

Members of the Irish Paralympic team have vowed to bring back medals amid the controversies in Rio and a potential funding shortage.

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The ongoing alleged ticket tout scandal - and a potential shortfall of €120,000 in funding from the international Rio 2016 committee earmarked for the team's transportation and expenses - have caused upset.

"It's very unfortunate what's happened over the past few weeks, especially in relation to funding," said Jimmy Gradwell, president of Paralympics Ireland.

However, he assured them that Paralympics Ireland would ensure that the impact of "service reductions" would be minimal.

Junior Sports Minister Patrick O'Donovan said "the Government is fully committed" to ensuring that they will want for nothing.

Meanwhile, top-scoring footballer Dillon Sheridan (19), from Ballyfermot, and mid-fielder Gary Messett (28), from Bray, Co Wicklow, said they were eager to bring home medals.

Gary (28), who is a veteran of two Paralympic games, vowed "we are going there to win".

He was 'discovered' by a former Paralympics chairman who spotted him from his car playing football by the side of the road. While trying to win medals for Ireland, he will also be hoping to make his newborn baby, Poppie, proud.

Irish Independent

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