independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

'No limbs, no limits' teen Joanne: I could be bringing Marty Morrissey to my debs

Joanne O Riordan already has a back-up date sorted for her debs next year

An inspirational teenager, who was born without arms or legs, has revealed that she will take her GAA commentator pal Marty Morrissey to her debs.

Joanne O’Riordan, who has addressed the United Nations in New York, said Marty had promised to accompany her as her date if she doesn’t find anyone else.

The 17-year-old is one of seven people in the world with Total Amelia Syndrome but has said she wants to take part in the important milestone like any other girl her age.

She told RTÉ Radio 1’s 24.2, ‘‘The debs this year is a massive thing, just like every single other year.

‘‘And of course obviously we’re picking our dates very soon so God only knows who I’ll end up with.’’

The Montrose presenter has insisted that he will be her date on the exciting night if she needs him.

‘‘So far I’ve ended up with Marty Morrissey. If [he] comes I might actually behave as a legend in every single walk of life for bringing Marty Morrissey to the debs.’’

Joanne O’Riordan, who has addressed the United Nations in New York, said Marty had promised to accompany her as her date if she doesn’t find anyone else.

The teenager, from Cork, joked that she had been dropping hints that she was looking for a date with a lucky man.

‘‘I’ve been dropping hints at every school I’ve been to that I’ve been looking for a debs date so surely to God someone is going to get the hint,’’ she said.

Last year, she received a standing ovation for her UN speech in New York about how technology has transformed her life.

She delivered the keynote address at the inaugural 'Girls in ICT' conference in, organised by the UN's International Telecommunication Union.

She spoke alongside a panel of women that included a European Commissioner, a UN ambassador, politicians and IT executives from Microsoft, Cisco and Facebook.

The programme airs on RTE radio one at 9:30pm on St Stephen's Day

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