Former Meath Personality of the Year, Daraine Mulvihill from Ashbourne, will be helping to broadcast the Paralympics from London for Channel 4 television, in what she describes as her "dream job".
The Paralympics opening ceremony takes place tonight (Wednesday), and the Games go on until 9th September. Channel 4 says it is aiming to try and bring disability
sport to a mainstream audience and add editorial insight and authenticity to the coverage.
Daraine, a daughter of former GAA director-general Liam Mulvihill and his wife, Maire, was a one-time successful cross-country runner. She had both legs amputated below the knee after she contracted a life-threatening strain of meningitis when she was just 16.
In 1999, she contracted a particularly virulent strain of meningitis (meningococcus C) and her family were told that she had a between a two and 10 per cent chance of surviving. But, against all odds, she bounced back.
Daraine, who was Rehab Irish Person of the Year in 2001, hasn't let her disability detract her from her goal. The determined presenter achieved seven As in the Leaving Certificate, and graduated with a BA (honours) in Communication Studies at DCU. Six disabled presenters were selected by Channel 4, which aims to reach its target of 50 per cent disabled on-screen presenters during the Paralympic Games.
Daraine joins former Paralympic swimmer Rachael Latham from Wigan, wheelchair racer Arthur Vaughan Williams from Worcestershire, sports journalist Alex Brooker from Leeds, wheelchair basketball player Martin Dougan from Glasgow and
Liam Holt from Cardiff on the team.
Representing Meath in the Paralympic Games are Ratoath swimmer James Scully and Cushinstown AC member Heather Jameson, in the long jump.