Three Laois men are among the 12 players who will make up the first ever international wheelchair hurling squad.
Croke Park was the venue for today’s panel announcement, with President of the GAA John Horan in attendance.
Three Laois men – Lorcan Madden, Seán Bennett, Paul Tobin – are a part of the 12-man panel made up of three wheelchair all-star hurlers from each of the four provinces.
They will travel to take part in the 2019 European Para Games Floorball International event that takes place in Breda, The Netherlands, from June 27-29.
Floorball is a game that is being considered for addition to the list of sports in the Paralympics and differs chiefly from wheelchair hurling in that players cannot rise the ball.
As well as representing Ireland in the Floorball international, the GAA team will also host a wheelchair hurling demonstration during their stay.
In April, they took part in the M Donnelly Interprovincial Wheelchair Hurling finals today which were held in Portlaoise College.
A number of Laois hurlers joined them on the day and played against them, where they were schooled by the pros in the art ground hurling.
The GAA team will represent Ireland in competition against Floorball teams from Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Morocco, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and United States.
The team is captained by Sligo player Pat Carty with Limerick Paralympian James McCarthy vice-captain.
Uachatrán John Horan said: “Thanks to the work of the GAA For All committee there is a programme in place to make our games as inclusive as possible.
“Wheelchair hurling is a skillful game that lives up to the motto of the GAA being a place Where We All Belong and is really going from strength to strength.
“Through this invitation to play in Breda we have a chance to acknowledge some of our very best players with the opportunity to not only compete at a very high level but to represent their country in doing so.
“Congratulations and best wishes to all who have been selected and our thanks to Martin Donnelly for his continued support.”
The squad is: Pat Carty (Capt), Stephen Melvin, Aidan Hynes (Sligo), James McCarthy (Vice Capt), Maurice Noonan, Gary O’Halloran (Limerick), Lorcan Madden, Seán Bennett, Paul Tobin (Laois), Conn Nagle, Pat Lewis, Peadar Heffron (Antrim).