Ailish ready for Paralympic debut

MOUNTMELLICK athlete Ailish Dunne is putting the final preparations in place ahead of her Paralympic debut in London this weekend.

MOUNTMELLICK athlete Ailish Dunne is putting the final preparations in place ahead of her Paralympic debut in London this weekend.

Ailish will compete in both the shot-putt and discus at the Paralympic Games with her first event being the discus this Saturday morning. Thursday week (September 6) she will be back in action in Olympic Park in the Shot Putt.

Her Paralympic bow comes just over a year since her first major championships in New Zealand in January 2011. She laid down a marker at that championships with four personal-best performances and a best placing of 6th in the shot put.

Earlier this year she competed in the European Championships where she finished just outside of the medals in the shot put final in fourth and added an 8th place in the corresponding discus final.

Ailish was an active sportswoman from a young age however when she was diagnosed with vasculitis in 2004 she had to give up the sports she had previously enjoyed. However persuaded by fellow Laois man and former paralympian Garrett Culliton to get involved again in sport and since then she has excelled at her chosen field events.

She trains in the Tullamore Harriers and is now considered one of Ireland’s top Paralympic field event athletes.

The Irish team heading to London will comprise of 49 athletes across 10 sports. Hopes are high that Ireland will bring home a number of medals with the goal to achieve at least five medals, including three gold, and a top-30 placing in the final table.