Brendan O'Connor speaks openly about being the father of a child with a disability 4 years ago

Brendan O'Connor speaks openly about being the father of a child with a disability

Brendan O'Connor spoke openly last night about being the father of a child with a disability.

He said that the resources available for young children with disabilities in Ireland are not adequate and called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to do better.

Speaking on The Late Late Show, the father of two said:

“They (children with disabilities) are the most vulnerable people in many ways that we have, these small little children.

"They have an opportunity to be independent... We are storing up huge problems of dependency."

O'Connor's seven-year-old daughter, Mary, has Down Syndrome.

The presenter wrote a column in 2015 to mark Mary's birthday, saying that he had come to realise that she was not a baby anymore.

O'Connor said that although he worried about the future, he tried not to think about it, or his daughter's Down Syndrome, too much.

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He wrote:

"They tell you never to look forward. And in general I don't. You could project out, all the way to when you die. And you could despair.

"You could despair every time you read about abusive staff in care homes. You could even despair every time you see someone getting married or getting a job, or graduating, or growing up and leaving home. You could despair every time someone has a perfect baby."

O'Connor's push for better resources, shorter waiting lists, and the need for people to be friends rather than carers for people with disabilities stuck a chord with many viewers.

They took to Twitter to applaud his efforts.