By John Kenny

The Irish National Championships get underway at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin on Thursday morning.

The championships serve as a final opportunity for Irish swimmers to qualify for summer international meets and over 300 competitors from 63 clubs will take part over four days of competition.

European competition this year focuses on the European Aquatics Championships in Berlin in August.

Seven Irish competitors, including Olympians Barry Murphy and Sycerika McMahon, have already qualified for the event.

Joining them will be Swim Ireland High Performance Athlete of the Year 2013 Fiona Doyle, Irish record holder Brendan Hyland, Nicholas Quinn, Dan Sweeney and open water swimmer Chris Bryan.

McMahon will not be available for this week’s championships due to a clash with college exams at Texas A&M, but the 19-year-old will compete for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July after qualifying for five different events at the Canadian National Championships at the start of this month.

Also missing is Grainne Murphy, who continues her rehabilitation from an illness which forced her out of the London Olympics in 2012.

The heats get underway at 9.45am.