Inspirational Cork teen to address UN
An inspirational Cork teenager who was born without arms and legs is to travel to New York to address the United Nations on how technology has enhanced her life.
Transition-year student Joanne O'Riordan (15) from Millstreet, Co Cork, will deliver a keynote speech to the UN's International Telecommunication Union on Thursday.
Ms O'Riordan, who suffers from an extremely rare condition known as Total Amelia Syndrome, is the only person with a disability to be invited to address the “Girls in Technology” conference.
The exclusive conference will be attended by some of the world's leading women in technology.
The student at Millstreet Community College will address the conference on how technology has advanced her life through education and social interaction with others.
Ms O'Riordan will travel to New York today with her parents and her brother Steven O'Riordan, a filmmaker who is recording his sister's week-long trip to the US for a future documentary on her life.
Mr O'Riordan and 2000 AD Productions in Galway were recently granted funding from the Irish Film Board to produce a documentary on the teenager's life.
She came to prominence last year when she challenged Taoiseach Enda Kenny over the Coalition's plan to cut disability allowances for teenagers.
She also recently won an award for her school and community work in Millstreet.