Miriam Malone is the new Paralympics Ireland chief executive ©Paralympics Ireland

Miriam Malone has been announced as the new chief executive of Paralympics Ireland, replacing Liam Harbison.

Malone will take up the role after 11 years as the business partnerships director and member of the management team of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

Before that, Malone led the Kilkenny Local Sports Partnership and also worked for Special Olympics in a development role.

“I am honoured to take on the role of chief executive for Paralympics Ireland,” Malone said.

"I look forward to repaying the trust shown to me by the board recruitment and selection committee.

"I believe that Paralympics Ireland is an important part of the Irish sporting landscape.

"I know that with Liam Harbison at the helm for the last number of years it has grown greatly, and had a very successful Paralympics Games in London and Rio de Janeiro.

“One of the challenges for me and all the staff will be to maintain that trajectory of growth, progression and recognition for the athletes.”

She succeeds Harbison who is set to take up a new post as director of the Sport Ireland institute.

He first served as the national governing body's performance director before becoming chief executive in 2008.

At London 2012, he was the Ireland team's Chef de Mission.

Ireland won 11 medals at Rio 2016, including a gold for Jason Smyth ©Getty Images
Ireland won 11 medals at Rio 2016, including a gold for Jason Smyth ©Getty Images

Ireland won 11 medals at Rio 2016, including four golds, to exceed their pre-Games target of eight.

Their best medal haul at a Paralympic Games is 66, which they won at the 1984 Games held in both New York City and Stoke Mandeville.

"We are absolutely delighted to welcome Miriam on board," said President of Paralympics Ireland Jimmy Gradwell.

"We were overwhelmed by the interest in the role and are so pleased to have someone of Miriam’s calibre and extensive experience in the sector leading us into Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

"There is a lot of work on the horizon not least the World Para Athletics Championships in London in July and the inaugural Para Swimming World series which begins in March.

"Furthermore, after winning the bid recently we’re set to host the 2018 Para Swimming European Championships in Dublin next year so that is a huge focus for us."

The new Para-swimming World Series is set to be introduced next year, offering athletes the chance to compete in a dedicated circuit for the first time.

The move to establish the Series represents a major development within Para-swimming and aims to further develop the sport after the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and at the start of the Tokyo 2020 cycle.

It is hoped the Series will act as a stepping stone for the World and regional Championships.