Strong Irish team of five depart for IPC Paralympic Swimming European Championships

The five strong Irish Paralympic Swimming team departed Dublin early this morning bound for Eindhoven for the IPC European Swimming Championships which are set to take place from August 4th – 10th.

The team, which is proudly sponsored by Allianz, features three swimmers who medalled at last summer’s IPC World Championships; Double Paralympian (Beijing 2008 and London 2012) Ellen Keane alongside fellow London Paralympians James Scully and Laurence McGivern. They are joined by another London Paralympian in Jonathan McGrath, and newcomer at this level fifteen year old Ailbhe Kelly.

Keane, who has had to adjust her preparations for these Championships to focus on her Leaving Cert which she successfully completed in June, is competing in no less than six events at the Championships. The 100m Breaststroke, and the 200m Individual Medley (IM) are her top ranked events.

Fellow National Aquatic Centre club mate James Scully will compete in four events with the 200m Freestyle his leading distance. Laurence McGivern, who swims with Invictus in Belfast competes in just one event; the 100m backstroke in which he won bronze at last year’s World Championships, and is targeting a lifetime best swim in it, as is Killaloe’s Jonathan McGrath in the best of his two events; the 400m Freestyle.

Fifteen year old Ailbhe Kelly from Castleknock swimming in her first major international competition will be hoping to swim personal bests in her events, and gain valuable experience at this elite level. Her 400m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke are her top events of the four she will race in.

The team set off for the Europeans on the back of a successful warm weather training camp in the Canary Islands which they just completed on Tuesday. Speaking about the camp and the week ahead Paralympics Ireland Performance Manager Dave Malone; himself a three time Paralympic Games swimming medallist commented; “We’ve just completed a great preparation camp in the Canaries with eighteen sessions over the eleven days aimed at really fine tuning preparations for next week. We’re confident the athletes are now in a strong position to perform to their potential against Europe’s best. They’re really looking forward to getting underway in Eindhoven.”

Almost 400 swimmers from 37 countries will be competing at these Championships which will be held at the Peter van den Hoogenband Swimming Stadium.

All heats and finals from the event will be streamed live on and there is also a website at The event will also be covered live and via highlights on Channel 4. Paralympics Ireland will be tweeting results, and issuing press releases daily with details of the Irish performances, and Sportsfile will be issuing images of the Irish swimmers reproduction fee free during the event.

The Irish team is proudly sponsored by Allianz, an official sponsor of Paralympics Ireland.

Please note: Images of the Irish team from the Championships will be released daily reproduction fee free from Sportsfile 01-4547400


For further information:

Sinéad Naughton, Paralympics Ireland Communications & Events Director

087-6338512/01-6251175  @ParalympicsIRE on Twitter

Irish Team for 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships

Ellen Keane, S9, SM9, SM9 classes, NAC swim club, from Clontarf, Dublin 3

Ailbhe Kelly, S8 class, NAC swim club, from Castleknock, Dublin 15

James Scully, S5 class, NAC swim club, from Ratoath, Co. Meath

Jonathan McGrath, S8, Swim Ireland UL Sport Performance Centre, from Killaloe, Co.Clare

Laurence McGivern, S9, Invictus Swim team, from Rostrevor, Co.Down

Provisional Competition Schedule – Irish team at IPC Swimming World Championships

(All times quoted are Irish time, schedule may be subject to change)

Day 1 – Monday 4th August 2014

8.34am Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 100m Backstroke Heat
8.38am James Scully S5 Men’s 100m Freestyle Heat
10.05am Ellen Keane S9 Women’s 50m Freestyle FINAL
5.13pm Jonathan McGrath S8 Men’s 100m Backstroke FINAL
5.17pm Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 100m Backstroke FINAL* (if qualifies from heat)
5.22pm James Scully S5 Men’s 100m Freestyle FINAL* (if qualifies from heat)


Day 2 – Tuesday 5th August 2014

8.52am Jonathan McGrath S8 Men’s 400m Freestyle FINAL
9.00am Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 400m Freestyle FINAL


Day 3 – Wednesday 6th August 2014

10.10am Ellen Keane SB9 Women’s 100m Breaststroke FINAL
4.21pm Ellen Keane S9 Women’s 100m Freestyle FINAL


Day 4 – Thursday 7th August 2014

No Irish athletes competing today


Day 5 – Friday 8th August 2014

8.00am James Scully S5 Men’s 200m Freestyle Heat
4.00pm James Scully S5 Men’s 200m Freestyle FINAL* (if qualifies from heat)
6.10pm Ellen Keane SM9 Women’s 200m Individual Medley FINAL

Day 6 – Saturday 9th August 2014

8.00am Laurence McGivern S9 Men’s 100m Backstroke Heat
8.13am James Scully S5 Men’s 50m Freestyle Heat
8.49am Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 100m Freestyle FINAL
8.53am Ellen Keane S9 Women’s 100m Backstroke FINAL
4.03pm Laurence McGivern S9 Men’s 100m Backstroke FINAL* (if qualifies from heat)
4.33pm James Scully S5 Men’s 50m Freestyle FINAL* (if qualifies from heat)

Day 7 – Sunday 10th August 2014

8.38am James Scully S5 Men’s 50m Backstroke Heat
9.18am Ellen Keane S9 Women’s 100m Butterfly FINAL
4.24pm Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 50m Freestyle FINAL
4.28pm James Scully S5 Men’s 50m Backstroke FINAL* (if qualifies from heat)


About Paralympics Ireland: Paralympics Ireland is responsible for the preparation and management of the Irish team in the lead up to, and at each Paralympic Games, in addition to the development and implementation of the annual Paralympic performance plan funded by the Irish Sports Council. As the National Paralympic Committee of Ireland Paralympics Ireland is also the governing body for the sports of Paralympic Athletics and Paralympic Swimming nationally.

About Classification: Classification is a unique and integral part of disability sport. It provides the structure to separate athletes with similar levels of impairments into groups, or classes as they are commonly known, so they can compete in fair and equal competitions against one another, and ensure that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus. This same principle exists in non-Paralympic sports where athletes are classified according to age, gender or weight divisions to allow for as fair competition as possible.

In swimming classification the S refers to swimming, in particular the Freestyle, Butterfly and Backstroke events, the SB refers to Breaststroke and the SM refers to Swimming Medley, with the numbers denoting the level of impairment, the lower numbers the more severe the impairments and the higher less so.

For a full run down on all the classifications in swimming visit

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