Ireland’s three-time Olympic canoeist Eoin Rheinisch has announced his retirement.

Rheinisch took part in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012, with fourth place in Beijing his best placing.

He was also a World Cup gold medallist, a European and World Championship finalist and seven-time World Cup finalist.

Rheinisch said: “In 1996, I watched the Atlanta Olympics with my brothers at our home in Leixlip.

“Inspired by my sporting heroes expertly negotiating the coloured poles hanging down over the heaving white water, I made a decision that would shape the rest of my life.

“I wanted to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games. The past 18 years of chasing that dream - and other related goals - have been an incredible experience but the time has come for me to move on to the next chapter of my life.

“I have given the decision to retire much thought and it is not an easy thing to do.

“I also considered allowing retirement to drift past unannounced. But I wanted to highlight what sport has done for me and thank all of the wonderful people that have helped me throughout my career.”

Karl Dunne of Canoeing Ireland added: “Eoin has been a great ambassador for the sport of canoeing throughout his career, my overriding impression of Eoin has always been one of professionalism.

“While he may be hanging up his competitor paddles, Canoeing Ireland are delighted that there is real legacy in Eoin taking up the position as National Coach to the U23 and Junior Canoe Slalom Squads.

“For the first time in the organisations history we have a true home grown high performance coach . On behalf of all at Canoeing Ireland, I wish Eoin the very best of luck as he moves from the water to the riverbank”.