Still hearing about those long waiting lists

 

ON THE COUCH: Caroline Carswell is founder of Irish Deaf Kids

Family/personal:

Delicately negotiating Dublin’s dating scene.

Which living person do you most admire and why?

I have great respect for Mary Davis for the lasting social impact of the Special Olympics in Ireland.

What do you regard as the top three problems facing Ireland’s health system?

I have been profoundly deaf since birth and so have first-hand experience of services for deaf children. Problems encountered include a wait of up to 30 months for an initial hearing test. There are also long waits to access speech and language treatment, which is particularly unfair for children with hearing issues. Thirdly, people who use sign language have great difficulty accessing health services due to communication barriers and lack of interpretation services in public hospitals.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Accumulating gift card credits for a very occasional one-hour aromatherapy full-body massage. Usually after a long run of hard work.

What is your most unhealthy habit?

Eating on the run.

How do you relax?

I head to the hills with the dog or enjoy the craic of salsa classes.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

George Clooney for his practical jokes, Stuart Townsend for home-grown talent, Miriam O’Callaghan for current topics, Padraig Harrington, as everyone likes a winner, and Maeve Binchy for good story-telling.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Waking up to clear blue sky and sunshine in Kerry, and taking off on a hike with friends and the dog.

What trait do you most value in your friends?

Honesty.

What talent would you most like to have?

Spontaneous invisibility.

Do you use alternative/ complementary medicines or therapies?

Yes. In my late teens I worked part-time in a health-food shop, hence the interest.

What is your earliest memory?

Being car sick in hot weather and having to drink Fanta orange with the fizz taken out.

What is your most treasured possession?

My health, for sure.

What other career might you have chosen?

Having worked in publishing, marketing and IT, probably a travel writer and photographer.

What books or films have inspired you?

Nelson Mandela’s book Long Walk To Freedom and the film Life is Beautiful for triumph over adversity.

* Irish Deaf Kids is an organisation that supports inclusive education for deaf children in Ireland