The World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships have been officially launched at Government Buildings with An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar playing host to Irish Para Athletes, Ailbhe Kelly and Patrick Flanagan.

Councillor Nial Ring, Lord Mayor of Dublin was also in attendance along with representatives of championship sponsors, Allianz Ireland and host partners; Sport Ireland, Swim Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Paralympics Ireland.

“Hosting this event is a great honour for our country and we can’t wait to welcome some incredible para athletes from right across the continent to Dublin,” said An Taoiseach.

“Bringing this event to Dublin has been a major undertaking and I would like to compliment the Local Organising Committee, the Host Partners and sponsors for their efforts to bring this event together.”

“It will be a proud moment as our athletes, including Patrick Flanagan and Ailbhe Kelly, get to compete in front of our legendary Irish sporting fans. I’m really looking forward to the event and I would like to wish Team Ireland the very best of luck throughout the week.”

This will be the first ever major para sporting event to be held in Ireland.

The Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre will be the Centre of attention from Monday August 13th through to Sunday 19th.

An 8 person Irish Team of Ailbhe Kelly, Patrick Flanagan, Ellen Keane, Jonathan McGrath, Sean O’Riordan, Nicole Turner, James Scully and Barry McClements will be hoping to raise the excitement level of the crowd.

They will be among more than 400 athletes from 37 countries taking part in 476 individual races in 167 events.

There are 4 host partners to Dublin 2018 who were all represented at the official launch including Emma Jane Clarke from Sport Ireland, Sarah Keane and Maggie Purcell from Swim Ireland, Paul Kelly of Fáilte Ireland along with John Fulham and Miriam Malone from Paralympics Ireland.

“It was a great honour to be invited to Government Buildings to officially launch the Championships,” said Malone.

“Having the support of Taoiseach Varadkar and of the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport has been a major factor in bringing this event to Dublin and we now look forward to getting the action underway in the National Aquatic Centre on Monday week.”