Put mobile away for 24 hours to enable Limerick man stay mobile

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Mikey O’Doherty of Enable Ireland

Mikey O’Doherty of Enable Ireland

ENABLE Ireland’s no phone survival challenge is designed to support young women and men like Mikey O’Doherty.

By giving up your mobile for 24 hours on October 24 you can help children and adults with disabilities who have no choice but to rely on technology 24/7. Sponsorship cards can be downloaded from enableireland.ie.

Mikey, who is 24 and from Montpelier, has been using the services of Enable Ireland, Quinn’s Cross in Mungret for the past six years after spending his formative years in St Gabriel’s. He is very active in the community and he is a member of the team which raises funds for Limerick services.

Mikey is a well-known personality in the city where he attends many functions and social activities. He is currently enrolled in Mary I where he will be studying for his BA in History and English.

Born with Cerebral Palsy, walking has always been difficult for him. Although he is able to get around without using his wheelchair, he finds that when he is walking for extended periods he experiences muscle and back pain. 

Mikey currently uses an Auto box B400 wheelchair but was without it for a period of time earlier this year when the motor malfunctioned.

In speaking with Mikey on his dependency on technology he stressed how importance it is to him. We can survive without our mobile for 24 hours but he can’t survive without his wheelchair.

“To me, technology is very important. I can’t imagine being without my wheelchair. It is my lifeline and I would find everything so much more difficult without it. I depend on my wheelchair for everything I do. It gives me independence and a life that I enjoy. I don’t have to rely on others to transport me to places, I can get up and do it myself. With it, I can live my life to the fullest - just like everybody else.  

“I found it very difficult when my chair was out of action recently and I hated relying on others. It was also a very expensive time for me as I had to pay for taxis as buses did not always cover the routes where I wanted to go.  

“My motto in life is ‘no matter who you are you can always follow your dreams’. Technology has allowed me to follow my dream and I intend living my life to the fullest and hopefully I will be able to access new, more hi-tech wheelchairs in the future,” said Mikey.

He also uses his chair to participate in his extensive social life which includes attending Munster matches at Thomond Park, nights out in well-known Limerick establishments an,d of course, to get him to and from Mary Immaculate College to participate in his studies. Mikey also took part in the Barrington’s 10k event last year using his chair.

Schools across the country are eagerly signing up to raise money for local services and vital technologies that people like Mikey rely on with Enable Ireland’s no phone survival challenge.

It asks students to give up their phones for 24 hours to highlight the incredible impact such technology can have in the lives and independence of people living with disabilities. To find out how you can join in on October 24 visit enableireland.ie/nophone or email nophone@enableireland.ie

Double U-21 All-Ireland winner and Limerick senior hurler Cian Lynch and Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom were among the first to sign up in the county and they hope as many as schools and individuals as possible follow his lead.