Donnacha McCarthy - Elite Para Triathlete on the Road to Tokyo


This episode of the podcast is filled with inspiration and resilience, if you ever doubted yourself or thought a goal was too big for you to achieve, then you will enjoy the company of Donnacha McCarthy from Drimoleague in West Cork who is chasing the Olympic dream to represent Ireland in paratriathlon in the PTVI category. Donnacha is the National Para Triathlon Champion and Paratriathlete of the Year 2019.


At the age of 6 Donnacha was diagnosed with cancer, relapsed at the age of 10 and as a result of his illness became visually impaired. He didn’t let that stop his interest in sport, he has adapted to life with a visual impairment and is passionately pursuing his sporting goals. He has previously captained the Irish team in Blind Football 5 aside with Vision Sport Ireland at the 2017 European Qualifiers and European Challenge Cup.


Although he only took up triathlon in 2017 and couldn’t swim he is now well on the road to Olympic Qualification for Tokyo with the support of a number of guides and the Para Triathlon Team at Triathlon Ireland headed up by Eamonn Tilley.


Bryan & Donnacha Photo Credit: Triathlon Ireland

We are also joined in this episode by brothers Eamonn and Dave Tilley who give us an insight into the role of a guide with the paratri team and some anecdotes on the history of triathlon in Ireland. Marc O’Dwyer also joins us, hosting the episode in his offices of the Big Red Cloud in Dublin, he is one of Donnacha’s proud sponsors and like the rest of us inspired by Donnacha’s resilience, determination and success to date.


Donnacha is a quiet, softly spoken athlete but don’t let that fool you, his focus, determination, passion and commitment to his sport is loud and clear and very inspiring.


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