Elections

Friday 1 August 2014

Candidate Kieran Hartley is a real Miracle Man after horror fall

Ralph Riegel

Published 14/05/2014|02:30

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Fianna Fail Ireland South candidate Kieran Hartley

HE has been nicknamed 'Mr Memory' for his phenomenal recall of people and names but, in reality, European election candidate Kieran Hartley (40) is more accurately a 'Miracle Man'.

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The Waterford-based businessman and Fianna Fail candidate in Ireland South is lucky to be alive after a horrendous fall a number of years ago left him with a fractured skull and a serious brain injury.

The injury was so serious that Kieran had to completely re-learn cognitive skills such as his short-term memory. He was so successful that his recall for people, names and places has now astonished his friends, political allies and rivals.

"They cannot believe it when I explain to them what happened to me. They all think I have some kind of memory gift . . . one joked that I have a memory like an elephant," he laughed.

But Kieran is grateful simply to have survived his accident in 2000. "I fell from a height down on to a fence and a stone step. I suffered a fractured skull and developed an aneurysm.

"I underwent cognitive behaviour therapy, which basically involved learning a new way to remember the names of people, places and things," he said.

Kieran's memory by word association is now so successful that, if he has met someone once, he automatically recalls their name and face even if he doesn't meet them again for several years.

"I'm not sure if you would describe it as a photographic memory. But it works very well."

The father-of-two admitted that the European election campaign has been hugely exciting, if a little exhausting.

"It's an honour to contest the constituency for FF but the size of Ireland South is absolutely incredible," he said

Irish Independent

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