Published Thursday, 19 December 2013
Bethany Firth won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. (© Getty)
The 17-year-old from Seaforde in Co Down, was the first Irish athlete to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games in London in 2012.
Since then she went on to win three silver medals at this year's IPC World Championships in Montreal.
The International Paralympic Committee has approved a change of nationality which will allow Bethany to compete for Team GB at future events.
In a statement Paralympics Ireland wished the swimmer well for her future.
It said: "After a number of successful years which has included paralympic gold and world silver with Team Ireland, it is with regret that Paralympics Ireland acknowledges the decision by Bethany Firth to change nationality to Team GB, which was formally approved by the International Paralympic Committee.
"It is always a moment of great pride for Team Ireland when the athletes in whom we have invested so much energy, time and training achieve such great results as those achieved by Bethany.
Bethany was and is one of the success stories of London 2012 for Team Ireland winning as she did our first gold medal of the Games.
"Bethany's progress under the Paralympics Ireland High Performance Swimming Programme since joining us serves as a shining example of the potential within us all to achieve greatness."
The statement continued: "As recently as August she brought home three silver medals from the IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, a further indication of her immense talent, of her progress under the Paralympics Ireland system and we have no doubt that she would have delivered further success and been an exemplary role model for Team Ireland over the next three years and beyond.
"Ultimately this is a personal decision for Bethany and we in Team Ireland would like to express our gratitude to her for all that she has achieved in her time competing with Team Ireland and we wish her all the very best in the future."
© UTV News