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Thursday 18 January 2018

Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden confirms Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis reporters

FINE GAEL TD for Longford/Westmeath Nicky McFadden has confirmed she has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

In a statement, Ms McFadden said she would continue to serve her constituents, despite the illness.

Ms McFadden, (49), was first elected as a councillor in 1999 and became a senator in 2007.

She was elected a TD in last year’s election.

“About eight months ago, I noticed having to slow down my speech in order to avoid slurring my words,” McFadden said today in a statement.

She added she had been formally diagnosed last Thursday by Professor Orla Hardiman of Beaumont Hospital.

“When I became symptomatic, I initially thought it was something to do with my vocal cords.

“But each medical test proved negative and it was a very frustrating time.

“The possibility of Motor Neurone Disease only emerged in the last fortnight.”

She added that while 75pc of people with the disease first present with muscle weakness in the limbs, “the onset of my condition is subtle, and has only affected my speech so far.

“I feel absolutely fine, and I completed a ten mile walk for the ICA just three weeks ago.”

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