A YOUNG TIPPERARY man, whose hurling career was cut short after suffering sight loss, is hoping to represent Ireland at the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Peter Ryan was diagnosed at age of 19 with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), a rare genetic disorder resulting in substantial sight loss.
And pupils at his former school Thurles CBS will this week present him and the Fighting Blindness charity with a cheque for €15,000, after they raised funds to help the charity and fund Peter’s training for the event in Rio De Janeiro in three years time.
Ryan, from the Upperchurch-Drombane club, in Tipperary played Dr Harty Cup hurling for three years for Thurles CBS.
In 2008 he featured in the All-Ireland (Croke Cup) final against a De La Salle team that contained players like current Waterford senior hurlers Noel Connors and Pauric Mahony.
Despite suffering sight loss, Ryan has refused to let this setback halt his sporting career. He took up the sport of tandem cycling in late 2012 and is now in training for the 2016 event in Brazil.
In August, Ryan competed at the World Championships in Canada and is currently an Irish national record holder.
Students at his former school, where his brothers Conor and Denis are currently students, raised the vast amount of money and the presentation will take place this Friday at the school. 100 specially commissioned Fighting Blindness jerseys will be given to fundraisers.
Ryan has been involved with Fighting Blindness, which is an official 2013 GAA charity, since 2011. He has been working on several fundraising events, while also acting as a spokesman for the organisation.