The National Aquatic Centre in Dublin will play host to the first indoor sporting event since March 2020 for Swim Ireland's elite and performance competitors.

Officially titled as an 'Irish Winter Meet', it replaces the Irish Short Course Championship which is normally held in December and which would normally attract some 600 swimmers from across the 32 counties.

However, due to the current government Level 3 plus restrictions, Swim Ireland has instead invited a small and select group of Ireland's elite athletes, including Darragh Greene, Shane Ryan and Danielle Hill, who will have their first races in a 50m pool since March.

The competition, which will also have no medal ceremonies, will also have a unique format of short course (25m pool) heats and long course (50m pool) finals, starting at 5pm on Thursday.

The meet will be watched closely by the other national governing bodies which operate under the auspices of Sport Ireland as to what the future holds for indoor competition, especially as Athletics Ireland say it intends to have their national Indoor championships at the National Sports Campus in February.

"We are very excited to be able to host this competition for the relatively small number of performance athletes that are permitted to race at this time," Swim Ireland national performance director Jon Rudd commented.

"It will be good to see where our potential Olympians for Tokyo and our other international prospects for 2021 are at this juncture.

"It is around 10% of those athletes that would normally race at this time that we are able to accommodate under the current regulations and what would have been a national championships in more normal times is simply a racing opportunity against the stopwatch for our premier swimmers.

"The support that we have received from Sport Ireland and the National Aquatic Centre in being able to provide this competitive opportunity has been fantastic and we hope that it provides hope and stimulus for those in our swimming community that will be looking forward to returning to competition in 2021."

Thursday will see long course swims at 5pm, with short course qualifying at 10am on Friday and Saturday,  followed by long course events at 5pm each day.