‘I’m loath to entertain the idea I’ve lived a lesser life than others because of my disability’

Invisible disabilities: I have been left at a disadvantage because of my body’s propensity to severe migraine

Brigid O’Dea: ‘We rely on the support of those around us, Government, policy-makers, judicial systems, to allay the inequalities life throws our way.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Brigid O’Dea: ‘We rely on the support of those around us, Government, policy-makers, judicial systems, to allay the inequalities life throws our way.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

In his book, Prisoners of Geography, Tim Marshall details the constrains of our geographical environment and how physical characteristics affect a region’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Mountains, rivers, seas, natural borders, deserts and climate all play a role in determining the success of a nation and their relations with neighbouring states.

Geographical context is crucial in understanding our world’s economic and political affairs. A mountain range can hamper invasion. Waterbodies open trade routes. Extreme climates hinder economic growth, while an abundance of natural resources facilitate it. Some lands, it seems, are born luckier than others.

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