Tuesday 21 November 2017

'There was no point feeling sorry for myself' - Man paralysed after accident uses comedy on road to recovery

Steve Timothy (Credit: Dave Copley)
Steve Timothy (Credit: Dave Copley)
Steve Timothy
Steve Timothy and Sinead McGrath

Ryan O'Rourke

A Galway man left paralysed has used comedy as crutch on the long road to recovery.

Steve Timothy (35) was left in a wheelchair after a motorcycle accident 12 years ago.

The accident initially left Steve, who is now better known under his stage alias “Farmer Michael”, paralysed from the chest down. Although he has since regained some use of his legs, he still has to use crutches and a wheelchair to get around.

Speaking about his injuries Steve revealed how he coped.

Conor McGregor and Sinead McGrath
Conor McGregor and Sinead McGrath

“There was no point feeling sorry for myself, so I just got on with it.

“From day one I was lightening the mood, making jokes and that,” Steve told independent.ie.

The comedian now makes sketches and videos with his girlfriend Sinead McGrath (23), who is better known in the videos as Kathleen.

The couple play the characters of an old Irish couple, and take a satirical approach to Ireland’s rural quirkiness.

The couple have made quite the name for themselves, with their latest video, 'F*ck the Mayweathers' getting over 20 million views last month.

Steve talks about how 'Farmer Michael' all started.

“It happened accidentally, I used to do this character to make my friends laugh.

“My brother recorded me doing the accent and I put it on Facebook for the laugh, it all kind of spiralled from there,” he said.

Steve’s sense of humour has sometimes gotten him in trouble, but he wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“When I was younger, I got expelled from school for being a clown.

“But at the same time, my sense of humour got me through the accident, it was the only thing that kept me going.”

Sinead, or “Kathleen” as she known while in character, spoke about how she joined Steve into the world of comedy.

“We started going out a little over two years ago, and at this point farmer Michael had already talked about Kathleen, his wife, in a few of his videos.

“So he said to me ‘you can just be Kathleen’, and after doing a few videos it just felt natural,” she said.

Sinead has been able to relate to Steve on more than just a comedic level.

In August of 2012 Sinead was riding a show horse when it fell on top of her.

She needed six surgeries, including the replacement of the ligaments in her knee and screws in her tibia.

She also needed a lot of physiotherapy to be able to walk again.

This injury, Sinead says, allowed her to relate to Steve’s struggle on some level.

“Even though his injuries were much worse than mine, I can relate to the embarrassment."

The couple’s career has flourished since its early days, and they have gathered a large following across Ireland and abroad.

They have gotten praise from the likes of professional boxers, Olympians and footballers.

“Tyson Fury sent us a call out video, which was pretty special,” said Sinead.

The comedy duo are preparing for an upcoming tour, and with recent sell out shows in Dublin and London, they are confident that it will be a success.

They are playing shows in Armagh on September 29, Belfast on October 3, Coleraine on October 6 and Drogheda on October 20.

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