herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Brave amputee Daraine is going for gold as she lands TV Paralympics job

IRISH girl Daraine Mulvihill has struck gold after landing an anchor role with the Paralympic Games.

The DCU student beat hundreds of contenders for the job and has been lined up to present coverage of the games on Channel 4 this year.

Former GAA director general Liam Mulvihill's daughter Daraine had both legs amputated below the knee after she contacted a life-threatening strain of meningitis when she was just 16.

In 1999 she contracted a particularly virulent strain of meningitis (meningococcus C) and her family were told that she had a between a 2pc and 10pc chance of surviving.

Doctors were not convinced that she would pull through and the young girl received the Last Rites.

But against all odds, she has bounced back.

Daraine, who was Irish Person of the Year in 2001, hasn't let her disability detract her from her goal.

The determined presenter achieved seven As in the Leaving Cert, and although she considered a career in medicine, she graduated with BA honours in Communication Studies at DCU.

Daraine (29) has now been revealed as one of the faces at the station in the run up to the games.



DREAM

The former RTE kids TV presenter, who hails from Dunboyne, Co Meath, is eager to get stuck into the anchor role, which she has described as her "dream job".

She was plucked from hundreds of entries for the competition to host coverage of the prestigious event.

The finalists were whittled down to a 12-strong shortlist who were then sent on a five-day bootcamp to help test their skills at the National Film & Television School.

A total of six disabled presenters were selected by the channel which aims to reach its target of 50PC disabled on-screen presenters during the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Daraine joins former Paralympic swimmer Rachael Latham from Wigan, wheelchair racer Arthur Vaughan Williams from Worcestershire, sports journalist Alex Brooker from Leeds, wheelchair basketball player Martin Dougan from Glasgow and Liam Holt from Cardiff on the team.

Channel 4 said it was aiming to try and bring disability sport to a mainstream audience and add editorial insight and authenticity to the coverage.

Since moving to London, Daraine has also been involved with BBC, ESPN and Sky Sports News.

But for now she will focus on presenting the network's Road To London 2012 series. "I can't wait to get in front of the camera," she said.

The Paralympics will be hosted in London from August 29 to September 9.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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