Disability won’t stop Limerick man following his dream

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

Michael O’Doherty’s motto in life is “I can and I will”, and he certainly is.

Michael O’Doherty’s motto in life is “I can and I will”, and he certainly is.

The 19-year-old from Montpelier has a mild form of cerebral palsy but he isn’t letting his disability dominate his life.

Mikey, as his friends know him, goes surfing in Lahinch, produces a radio programme, studies in Mary I, started a poetry group in Enable Ireland in Mungret, plays Boccia, is on Bridge Celtic’s AFC committee, loves to travel and is planning a mountain biking trip.

Last weekend he was a guest of President Michael D Higgins at a Being Young and Irish Workshop in Cork.

“My disability doesn’t stop what I do. I try and be as independent as I can be and education is a top priority.

“My motto is ‘I can and I will’ and no matter who you are or what your abilities are you should always follow your dream,” said Mikey.

He is one of Enable Ireland’s champions for their No Limits Kite appeal, which runs until Sunday.

The campaign asks the public to buy ‘a little kite and make a big difference’ by buying a €2 kite pin or trolley disc from Enable Ireland shops and centres, street volunteers and TK Maxx in Limerick.

Enable Ireland hopes people in County Limerick join in celebrating in a positive way the lives of people with disabilities.

Mikey has attended Enable Ireland’s centre for adults three days a week since last September.

“My first impression was of coming into a colourful warm atmosphere where I was made feel very welcome. Straight away I felt part of the gang.

“One thing that I am very proud of is setting up a poetry group on Friday mornings. We invite a guest every week to read a poem of their choice and one of the parents wrote a poem especially about our poetry morning. I think that has been the highlight of our season so far, everyone is welcome to participate,” said Mikey, who spends his other two days in Mary I studying Contemporary Living and packing in his multitude of other activities.

“I would like to work in a museum or heritage centre telling people about local history. I would like to own my own house and have a car and a family,” said Mikey, whose parents are John and Maureen.

Mike Cronin, of Enable Ireland in Quinns Cross, says Mikey is an inspirational young man.

“He started the poetry group all on his own. It is something different, it is not something that normally happens but everybody takes part.

“He loves sport and is involved in everything. He is very popular in O’Brien’s Bridge and Montpelier and we are delighted to have him in Mungret,” said Mr Cronin.

For more information on Enable Ireland’s No Limits Kite appeal log on to www.nolimits.ie