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Speakers Bio

SportsAbiliy seminar - Speakers

David Saunders

Sport: Amputee football
Born in county Kerry, David began playing amputee football in October 2011, he made his competitive debut in England in March 2012. David captained the Irish Squad at the Amputee World Cup in Poland in 2012 and went on to represent Ireland in the Amputee World Cup in Mexico in December 2014. David works as a primary school teacher in Cork. 


Sinead Kane 

Sport: Athletics
Sinead is a member of Leevale  AC and ran her first race, the 10K Women’s Mini Marathon in June 2012.   She took a break from the sport and in 2014 became the first visually impaired female to complete the Dublin Marathon.  Since then she has completed many more marathons and in 2015 became the first visually impaired athlete to complete an Ultra Marathon in Ireland.  Also in 2015 Sinead ran the red bull sponsored wings for Life World Run in Brazil as a race ambassador and in November 2015 she took part in an extreme Marathon around an active volcano at high altitude in the Atacama Desert.  In 2009 Sinead qualified as Ireland’s first registered blind Solicitor and is currently a PhD researcher and motivational speaker.


Conor Counihan

Sport: Gaelic football
Born in Aghada county Cork, Conor represented Cork in Gaelic football both as a player and a manager. From his playing career he has four Munster senior football championships and two All-Ireland senior football championships. As a manager of Cork senior football team he has three Munster senior football championships and one All-Ireland senior football championship.


Orla Barry 

Sport: Athletics (discus)
Born in Ladysbridge county cork, Orla is a member of the Leevale Athletic club and is ambassador to the Cork SportsAbility Forum. She has won numerous medals in discuss including 2 bronze medals, one in the Paralympic Games in London 2012 and another in the IPC World Championships in Doha 2015, 2 silver medals, one in the IPC World Championships in Lyon 2013 and another in the IPC European Championships in Swansea 2014.  She also has a gold medal from the IPC European Championships in Stadskanaal in 2012. 

Colm Monahan 

Sport: Soccer
Colm started playing soccer with Ballincollig Gunners in 2008 and has played matches all over Ireland includig Cashel, Ennis, Killarney, Waterford, Limerick and Dublin to name just a few. Every year he spends three days in Belfast playing against teams from UK and Ireland. In 2014 Colm won a gold medal representing Munster in UL and then qualified to represent Ireland in the 5 a side soccer team in LA 2015 where he came 5th in the top division. Currently he is captain of Ballincollig Gunners Team. In 2010 he won Player of the Year with the Gunners Team.  Colm trains every Saturday morning in Northfield Park, Carrigrohane and in Coláiste Choilm during winter months.  In his spare time he also swims with Special Olympics in Mayfield every Monday night and has been doing this since 2010.  Colm has recently joined Oriel House leisure club and enjoys swimming there too. He also attends a keep fit class and badminton class in Ballincollig Community School. Colm enjoys walking to and from all these activities that are in the locality. It is safe to say Com is an athlete of huge talent and loves participating in sport.  


Niamh Mc Carthy 

Sport: Athletics (Discus)

Niamh is originally from Carrigaline, Cork. Her sporting career began when she was spotted at a Talent Search organised by Paralmypics Ireland after the London 2012 games. She was then trained from a complete novice in the discus throw and started competing in 2013. She has quickly climbed the rankings in her sport and made her World Championship debut in Qatar last October where she finished with a Bronze medal. Outside of training, her other passion is skydiving which she started in 2011 with the UCC club and now has over 75 jumps.





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