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Bethany Firth and her gold medal. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Paralympic gold winner Bethany Firth congratulated by ministers

Team Ireland’s youngest member claims its first medal of the London Paralympic Games.

TEAM IRELAND’S first medal was won this evening at the London Paralympic Games when teenager Bethany Firth took gold in the Women’s 100m Backstroke Final, despite carrying a shoulder injury.

Speaking after her win, Firth praised the crowd’s support, saying they were “amazing” and could be heard underwater.

Minister Leo Varadkar and junior minister Michael Ring at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport this evening praised the teenager for her success.

Varadkar said that she “has made her family, community and her country extremely proud”.

“She is the youngest member of the Irish Paralympic team and she has enjoyed a meteoric start to her Paralympic career – winning gold in her event tonight and reaching the final of her two other events at last year’s IPC European Swimming Championships in Berlin,” the minister said.

Ring said that the Down girl’s success “comes as no surprise” given her impressive performance when qualifying to the London Games in February.

Happy days: Firth claims Ireland’s first Paralympic gold >

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