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Music-mad Cillian on song for hi-tech presidential show

A YOUNG man with cerebral palsy, who cannot speak unaided, will perform his own song for President Mary McAleese thanks to computer technology.

Cillian McSweeney (21), from Wilton in Cork, will play his song 'Equal' on Saturday for a select audience at Aras an Uachtarain, including the President, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his personal music idols The Coronas.

Cillian communicates via a computerised voice machine called a 'dyno-box'.

Thanks to advanced technology, another system, known as 'sound beam', allows Cillian to also use his head or foot to play a synthesised musical instrument, usually a saxophone.

"It is a dream come true for Cillian," his mother Angela said.

"He is absolutely crazy about music and loves all kinds of bands like The Script, The Coronas and Take That, as well as singers like Rihanna and Adele. In fact, he is going to see Rihanna in Dublin next November," she said.

Music was adjudged to offer Cillian a great outlet for his talents and, after attending Cork Music Works (CMW), he linked up with Knocknaheeny Youth Initiative (KYI), which agreed to put one of his compositions to music.

Irish Independent