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Opening up: Schmidt lines out for sick children

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Page turner: Author Keeva Delaney, (11), from Ballycarney, Co Carlow, with rugby coach Joe Schmidt, to sign her book ‘The Dolls’ Complaints’. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Page turner: Author Keeva Delaney, (11), from Ballycarney, Co Carlow, with rugby coach Joe Schmidt, to sign her book ‘The Dolls’ Complaints’. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Page turner: Author Keeva Delaney, (11), from Ballycarney, Co Carlow, with rugby coach Joe Schmidt, to sign her book ‘The Dolls’ Complaints’. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Irish rugby coach Joe Schmidt has encouraged families of seriously ill children to be "open" and share their personal stories to help stay positive.

He also spoke about his own experience of coping with his 15-year-old son Luke's epilepsy.

"I just go to work, but my wife (Kellie) has done an unbelievable job in keeping the family together as well as looking after Luke.

"We've got three other kids and what has really helped us is that Luke has been incredibly resilient.

"He stays incredibly positive despite the number of times that he has had to be in and out of hospital."

Schmidt was in Limerick to support author Keeva Delaney (11), who has written a book, 'The Dolls Complaints'. It is on sale through Dunnes Stores for €8 with all proceeds going to Cliona's Foundation, which gives support to families of children with complex care needs.

"Having being in the situation ourselves it always make it a little bit more personal when you're supporting a charity like this one," said Schmidt.

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