JOANNE O'RIORDAN: Film reels in the 17 years of my life

Joanne O'Riordan: You believed in my ability and you looked beyond my disability

SEVENTEEN years ago, a strange thing happened — I was born. Why is this strange? I was born with no limbs. I was only one of seven known people in the world living with the medical condition known as a total [or tetra] Amelia. It was the story to beat all stories.

I have been very lucky. All of this is down to you, the people of Ireland.

You believed in my ability, and you looked beyond my disability, enabling me and my family to do our best in a way that might not have been possible, otherwise. For that, I want to say thank you, because, over the past two years, my brother has made a documentary about me and how I have lived, and I’m glad to say that we will get to share this story with the world from Oct 6, at the Cork Opera House, when it has its world premiere.

No Limbs, No Limits is the title and while I have not seen the final product, I’m excited that people will finally get to see the real me.

Who would have guessed, 17 years ago, this baby would grow up to do and achieve so much, in such a short space of time?

Well, as I say, I have you, the people of Ireland, to thank for that and I hope you can come along to the world premiere in Cork and see what has been achieved.

We filmed in New York, Dublin, Cork, the United Kingdom, and many other places besides. My brother says it is a story of triumph over adversity, and while there are many emotional parts in the documentary, the overall message is positive.

I hope that this story will, once again, inspire a nation, but, more importantly, I wanted to use this opportunity, before the launch, to say thank you for all your support, goodwill and messages of kindness over the years.

What was achieved with the Joanne O’Riordan Fund, from 1997-98, was unbelievable.

It is something of which we can all be proud and, by the way, for anyone wanting to come to the documentary premiere, you can ring the Cork Opera House on 021-4270022, or, if you prefer online, go to the Cork Opera House website, www.corkoperahouse.ie

I hope to see everyone there, as it is my dream that we get a sell-out show.

Plus, when the documentary gets big, you can look back and say, like you did 17 years ago, ‘go n-eiri an t-adh libh.’


Lifestyle

Audrey's been sorting out Cork people for ages.Ask Audrey: C’mere, what’s the story with Chris O’Dowd thinking he’s better than Cork people

So, I put a link to a short story up for my students the other day. The story was by Michael Morpurgo and I was delighted to find an online copy. It can be challenging when you are relying on non-paper texts to teach.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I love physical books and always will

Celebrated actress Siobhán McSweeney may have found fame starring in a TV series set at the other end of the country, but Cork is never far from her thoughts, writes Ciara McDonnellHome is where the art is for Derry Girls actress

There are literally hundreds of free events on offer this evening for kids and adults on Culture Night. Marjorie Brennan selects the best of them, in Cork and beyondCulture Night: Get out and make the most of it

More From The Irish Examiner