Pledge of €25,000 puts Joanne's film on track
AN IRISH teenager born without arms and legs and who was honoured by the United Nations for her courage, is to have a film completed about her extraordinary life.
Joanne O'Riordan (16) admitted she is "thrilled and delighted" at the news Rehab is now to provide €25,000 towards completing the biographical film, 'No Limbs, No Limits'.
The Rehab Group confirmed it is to provide €25,000 to allow the documentary film to be completed after the Irish Film Board (IFB) controversially axed funding for the project, which is the brainchild of Joanne's brother, Steven.
Rehab was instrumental in helping support the Academy Award-winning film, 'My Left Foot' about disabled Irish author Christy Brown.
The IFB decision to refuse to provide €80,000 to complete Joanne's film caused outrage -- and an anonymous technology firm immediately stepped in to promise €40,000 in funding.
However, that still left a €25,000 to €30,000 funding shortfall -- which has now been largely removed by Rehab's involvement.
Only a small funding gap now remains -- and that is expected to be provided by voluntary public donations.
The news came as a double boost for Joanne, who was honoured last week as the Cork Person of the Month.
Joanne suffers from 'total amelia' -- she was born without arms and legs. She is one of only seven people in the world with the condition.
Last night, Rehab told the Irish Independent that it is delighted to be involved in the film project.
"Steven and Joanne's film is a momentous opportunity to share the incredible story of a young determined girl and her family. It is a chance to show people how those with disabilities can, and do, overcome challenges, what are at times enormous challenges," Rehab chief executive Angela Kerins said.
Joanne, from Millstreet, Co Cork, was honoured by the United Nations last April for the incredible courage and determination she has shown in defying her disability.
The BBC and Channel 5 have expressed an interest in broadcasting the film when it is completed.