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Four swimmers included in Ireland team for Paralympics

Ellen Keane is among the Irish swimmers who will travel to the 2016 Paralympic Games  
Gerry O'Neill

FOUR swimmers have been included in the 44-strong Ireland team that goes to the 2016 Paralympic Games that take place in Rio De Janiero in September.

Dubliner Ellen Keane is in four events and another Dub Ailbhe Kelly goes in three. Meathman James Scully is also entered in three and the team is completed by Nicole Turner from Laois who faces a really busy time with six event challenges.

A 12-strong Irish swimming team left on Wednesday for the European Junior Championships in Hungary. Brian Sweeney travels as head coach and he will be assisted by Peter Hill from the Larne club.

Swim Ulster are inviting nominations for Club and Coach Awards for the 2015/16 season. Ards were the "Club of the Year" last season and their coach Nelson Lindsay picked up the gong for High Performance coaching. Ross Gillespie (Templemore) was rewarded with the "Club Coach of the Year" award.

Banbridge were presented with both the Swim Ireland and Swim Ulster "Club of the Year" trophies at the Swim Ireland recent annual awards bash at the Titanic Centre in Belfast. Clubs are urged to get their nominations to Ruth McQuillan before the closing date of 30th September at RUTH@swimulster.net.

Open water swimming is growing in popularity and a field of 72 entrants lined up for the Sheephaven Bay Swim in Donegal last weekend. First home in the four kilometre race from Horn Head to Portnablagh pier was local girl Siobhan Gallagher in 55.51 minutes.She was followed home by Keith Garry some three and a half minutes later with Triona McMenamin in third place in 1:00.30.

There was a sizeable number of racers who are not normally associated with competitive swimming, including a large entry from Donegall Diamonds women's water polo team.

Nuala McGuigan-McGurk was their first swimmer to finish in a very impressive eighth place overall, a mere five seconds behind Clonard's former international water polo player Peter Cusick, who was seventh.

Other notables to make an impression include Clonard pair Laurence Cusick (13th) and Tony Fitzpatrick (50th) and Donegall Diamond's Ruth McGuigan (18th), Elaine Walker (30th) and Jane Reilly (31st).

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