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Carbon fibre blade replacement will allow athlete to compete in Berlin

A Paralympic athlete, who considered quitting after his carbon fibre blade was stolen from his car in County Monaghan, has been given a replacement.

Shane McLaughlin will now be able to compete at an international event in Berlin, which gets underway next Friday.

The 42-year-old’s career was put in jeopardy after the theft a week ago.

Garda took to Facebook to appeal for information following the theft, while Mr McLaughlin had said he had considered quitting his athletics career.

Today, however, confirmation was given that the athlete – whose left leg was amputated three years ago – has been given an expensive replacement which is identical to that taken last Friday in Clones.

The company Ability Matters, which specialises in prosthetics and mobility aids, stepped in, along with the National Rehabilitation Hospital, and paid for the new blade.

Mr McLaughlin, meanwhile, appealed for whoever took the original blade to return it.

He told RTE One: “All I appeal for is to get the other blade back. Just leave it back wherever and whenever and if they don’t want to contact someone, just leave it at the side of the road, at the side of a hedge, where it’s going to be noticeable and somebody will come along and they will contact the guards, or else they will contact me at my home house.

“Personally, I’m not going to do anything and if the Garda Síochána in Clones or Monaghan want to prosecute, that’s up to the gardaí.”

Picture: An Garda Siochana Facebook

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