Saturday 21 April 2018

Disabled athlete's Rio hopes back on track after gardai recover stolen car

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

Martin Grant

A DISABLED athletes hopes of going to the Rio Paralympics is back on track after gardaí located his specially adapted car which thugs stole from his home.

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

However, a day after and the Herald highlighted the case, the car has been found – meaning John can now travel to his vigorous training sessions.

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

A garda spokesman revealed this afternoon that the car was located in the Lucan area this morning and no damage was caused to the car.

It had been stolen on Sunday night at the Abbeywood estate in Lucan, Co Dublin. The athlete decided to go to bed at around 11.30pm and woke up yesterday 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 meant the Cork native could not 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 the Herald yesterday.

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

John is a Paralympian champion, having won silver medal in discus at the 2004 Athens Paralympics. He also is an Irish rugby international and wore the green shirt at European level.

He started his journey to Paralympics success after a tragic accident 25-years-ago left him wheelchair bound when he broke his neck after driving into a river in 1992.

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