Friday 24 November 2017

Disability campaigner Joanne O'Riordan inspired by everyday 'hidden' heroes

Campaigner Joanne O’Riordan (19) Photo: Collins
Campaigner Joanne O’Riordan (19) Photo: Collins
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Disability campaigner Joanne O'Riordan says she is inspired by everyday heroes who shun the limelight.

The young Cork woman who was born without limbs due to a rare genetic disorder, said people who give selflessly of themselves to their families and their communities despite their own challenges are a constant source of inspiration to her.

"I see firsthand the amount of work these people do," she told

"These people just go ahead and do it no matter what. They keep you happy and motivated."

Her own journey as one of seven people in the world born with Tetra-amelia syndrome who has excelled in the face of adversity, earned her the Young Person of the Year award at last year's People of the Year awards among numerous other accolades, including being Grand Marshall at this year's St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin.

She made the comments at the launch today of the Hidden Heroes awards 2016 of which she is an ambassador.

This year's winners, which will be announced on September 5, honour people who have made exceptional contributions to their families, communities or Irish life in general, despite challenges they faced along the way.

Nominations in ten categories are currently open until August 5.

More information is available on

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