By John Kenny
Swim Ireland have announced a squad of 11 swimmers to contest the European Short Course Championships which will take place from 22 to 25 November at Chartres, in France.
The squad includes London 2012 Olympians Sycerika McMahon and Barry Murphy, who will also go on to contest the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul from 12-16 December.
Murphy is now back swimming in Ireland having left his coach Mike Bottom and his US base at Michigan.
Two Notable absentees in an otherwise inexperienced squad are Grainne Murphy, the two-time bronze medallist from the 2010 European Championships and Melanie Nocher, who took a bronze medal in the 200m backstroke in last year’s championships in Szczecin in Poland.
Murphy has reportedly left her base at the High Performance Centre in Limerick and returned home to Wexford after Swim Ireland failed to renew the contract of coach Ronald Claes.
She is not believed to be swimming competitively at the moment.
Nocher has also yet to return to full training having had a miserable time at the London Olympics, where she swam way off her best time in the 200m backstroke due to gastric problems..
Nocher, like Barry Murphy, has also returned to Ireland, having left Loughborough University.
Peter Banks, Swim Ireland's High Performance Director refused to comment on either Grainne Muphy’s apparent decision to leave the High Performance Centre or why the governing body failed to renew the contract of Ronald Claes.
Meanwhile, Swim Ireland, in conjunction with the Kingfisher Club and NUI Galway have launched the new Connaught Performance Centre.
Swim Ireland say that the centre is designed specifically to provide additional training hours, develop skills, provide opportunities for the best swimmers to train together on a weekly basis and provide support to club, coaches and athletes.
A total of 25 swimmers currently avail of the centre, across a variety of training programmes.
Ireland squad for European Short Course Swimming Championships: Brendan Hyland, Curtis Coulter, David O’Sullivan, Brendan Gibbons, Cian Duffy, Jane Roberts,Sarah Kelly, Clodagh Flood, Sycerika McMahon Shani Stallard and Barry Murphy.