Sunday 4 December 2016

Sign language community rocked by four tragic deaths

Published 25/10/2016 | 18:40

Tragic brothers: Daniel (left) and William McCarthy. Photo courtesy of the Deaf Heritage Centre
Tragic brothers: Daniel (left) and William McCarthy. Photo courtesy of the Deaf Heritage Centre

Ireland's sign language community has been rocked by a fourth tragic death in the space of a month.

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Tributes were paid last night to Kenneth Daly, who was deaf and a sign language user, after he was discovered dead at his home in Castlelyons in north Cork.

Mr Daly was just 44 years old. His death brings to four the number of sign language users who have died in Ireland over the past month, several in tragic circumstances.

Elderly brothers Daniel and William McCarthy were discovered dead on October 4 in their south Dublin home. The Kerry-born brothers had apparently lain dead in the property for some time before being discovered.

Their deaths prompted calls for greater resources and supports for Ireland's sign language community.

In a separate and unrelated case, a young man, also a sign language user, died in tragic circumstances two weeks ago.

The fourth death involved Mr Daly who was discovered in his Castlelyons home on Sunday. The death is not being treated as suspicious and it is believed Mr Daly may have died from a heart attack.

Councillor Frank O’Flynn paid tribute to Mr Daly and said the entire community was shocked by the death of such a young man.

“I want to extend my sympathies to the Daly family,” he said.

“It is so desperately sad that this should have happened just as the Irish sign language bill is at its second phase in the Oireachtas.”

“This is legislation which I believe is very important and should be accompanied with better resources for Ireland’s deaf community,” he added.

Tributes to Mr Daly also flooded in to social media sites last night. One friend wrote: “The entire Cork deaf community is heartbroken.”

Mr Daly will be buried today after 2pm Requiem Mass at St Nicholas Church in Castlelyons.

He will be buried at Castlelyons new cemetery.

In a gesture of solidarity with the Irish deaf community, his parents, Denis and Frances, and five siblings have asked that mourners make a donation to the Cork Deaf Club rather than bring funeral flowers.

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