Saturday 18 November 2017

Joanne is in world's top 20 young people

Joanne is being recognised
Joanne is being recognised

Inspirational Joanne O'Riordan has been shortlisted as one of the top 20 young people in a world.

The Cork disability rights campaigner has been an unstoppable force of nature in recent years since she took Taoiseach Enda to task over disability cuts in 2011, aged just 15.

Now she has been shortlisted for the Junior Chamber's International (JCI) Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World.

"I'm delighted, it's a massive honour to be recognised with the most amazing young people in the world," she told the Herald.

A public vote will now be held for six days and the final 10 people will be invited to the JCI World Congress in November in Kanazawa, Japan.


"Lets' be honest that's the best part," she joked before adding that some of her friends and family were voting in the hope they could be her travel companion.

"If I do go I'll have a few extra, shall we say, items in my bag - I'm not sure how the airline will feel about that," she said.

Joanne (19) is due to begin her second year of a Criminology degree in UCC in September, which she said she is "loving so far".

Last year, Joanne was the subject of her bother Steven's documentary No Limbs, No Limits, which told her life story.

She is one of just seven people in the world who have Total Amelia Syndrome, a condition which means she was born without arms or legs.

She first rose to prominence when she challenged Enda Kenny on reneging on his promise not to cut disability benefits.

Since then, Joanne addressed the United Nations about the importance of technology in her life on her 16th birthday.

She is also working with researchers in Trinity College to build 'Robbie the Robot', which would allow people with disabilities to live a more independent life.

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