Orla Barry inspiring people every day
SECAD is delighted to welcome back Paralympic athlete, Orla Barry as our guest speaker at our Opportunities Mornings in Cobh and Youghal. Orla spoke at the Opportunities Morning in Midleton last September and captivated people with her honesty about how she has dealt with her disability and how she has motivated herself to become a world class discus thrower.
Orla is from Ladysbridge and was born without kneecaps and lower leg bone which meant that her parents had to make the difficult decision when she was 11 months old, to amputate both her legs above the knee.
Her parents were always very supportive and encouraged her to take part in sports from an early age. Orla is a seated discus athlete and started in the sport at the age of 10. In 2005, Orla started competing internationally at the age of 16.
Orla was world champion heading off to the London Paralympics as she had won gold at the 2012 IPC European Athletics Championships in the F57 discus event and was ranked number one in the world. She had finished in 5th place in the Beijing Paralympics and was hoping to win a medal in London.
On day 6, Orla threw 28.12m earning a total of 921 points to take her to third place and a bronze medal. In an interview after the event, she said: “I thought with my first throw I might not make it into the final, but it ended up winning me a bronze medal. I don’t know how that happened really, but I came here to get on the podium, and I am going back with a bronze medal. I am absolutely delighted. It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t my best performance, a medal is a medal. It makes up for Beijing, I am still learning, I am only 22 and Rio is ahead of me. I’ve gone from fifth to third and if that trend continues, we’re looking at great stuff. I tried to go in and put pressure on them. I know when I went into my second round I was in third position. I should have relaxed more, but I don’t think I did. But a medal is a medal.”
Since the Paralympics, Orla has continued to compete and won silver at the IPC World Championships in Lyon in 2013.
Currently, she is involved in the TV programme Beyond Limits: The Next Generation which will be screened for the first time ‘free to air’ on Setanta Ireland on January 23rd at 10.00 pm. Orla was featured in the original programme Beyond Limits which was broadcast in August 2012 and followed the athletes as they prepared for the London Games. Beyond Limits: The Next Generation looks at the legacy and the impact of the London Games on the next generation of athletes.
Orla will be speaking at the Cobh Opportunities Morning in the Sirius Centre on Monday, 3rd February and at the Youghal Opportunities Morning in Cumann na Daoine on Thursday, 6th February, both starting at 10.00 am. The events are free and everyone is welcome to attend.
The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) mixing good practice with Historical importance
Barry Clohessy is one of eight RSS workers at SECAD. The RSS which is supervised by Frances Burke at SECAD is a special scheme in place for Fishermen and Farmers and this unique scheme gives people like Barry Clohessy an opportunity to supplement his income from fishing by working in designated areas and Barry’s placement at St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal is really unique as the Youghal native works on the grounds of the historic old Church of Ireland location which is steeped in history and is part of the ‘Raleigh Quarter’.
When Barry entered the grounds of St Mary’s three years ago, the place was literally a wild overgrown mess, but now after years of hard work and diligence, Barry has transformed the place completely.
When all could be seen previously was briars and weeds, the historic grounds are now a joy to behold as the public can wander around the grounds in comfort and safety to admire the wonderful history that St Mary’s Collegiate Church has to offer.
Frances Burke (SECAD) with Barry Clohessy (RSS)
The feed-back from the local congregation and visitors to the old grounds which encompass the historic old ‘Town Walls’ has been nothing short of amazing.
Now the gravestones, the historical areas and the town walls themselves are all accessible from within the grounds and it really is a place that historians and tourists alike should visit such is the very important part this area plays in the history of the town of Youghal.
The views from the top end of the graveyard and the town walls are breath taking as you look across the town in its full glory.
One of the many fantastic views from the historic old ‘Town Walls that can be accessed easily from within the graveyard.