The Irish Paralympic team left Dublin for Portugal this morning where they will have a week long training camp before heading to London for the Paralympic games that begin on August 29th. The team is 49 members strong and in addition has the support of 47 coaches and volunteers who also made the journey.
Excitement levels were high last night as many of the Irish public turned out to see off the team, with over 1,000 supporters there as well as the melodic farwell of the Sawdoctors.
The camp is the last stop before the games and will be used to fine tune preparations and ensure that every athlete is ready to go come the end of August.
Irelands Paralympic chief Liam Harbison has tipped Ireland to do well, and he is optimistic that the team can reach the aim of five medals.
Again handcyclist Mark Rowan is highly favoured with a large contingent from county Westmeath expected to cheer him on from the crowd. The team is also bolstered by four other world champions across eight disciplines with sprinter Jason Smyth and middle-distance runner Michael McKillip expected to medal.
The action begins on Saturday September 1st where both Smyth and McKillip for team Ireland, will be the first to defend their titles.