Sarah Regan is a special star – former Taoiseach
FORMER Taoiseach Enda Kenny has paid tribute to Claremorris woman Sarah Regan.
He presented her with a Gaisce Bronze award in recogniation of her achievements as a teacher of international sign language and other work.
The Castlebar-based TD stated: “Sarah is a special star. She is 25 years of age and has had both physical and hearing challenges all her life.
“She completed a 13-week social studies programme in Galway/Mayo GMIT on an introduction to international sign language, she delivered the programme to 12 first year social study students, and then presented the course over 13 weeks to her peers in Rehab. What a fabulous achievement and well worthy of a Gaisce Award.
“Sarah also organised a trip to Westport House and Gardens and to Croagh Patrick and Murrisk for her fellow Rehab attendees.
“She is an avid Mayo GAA supporter. She taught me some simple sign language, which is so important for those with a hearing impairment.
“Indeed, now that Irish sign language is recognised officially and, at Sarah’s prompting, I intend to recommend to the Teacher Training Colleges, and to the Minister for Education, that the Irish Sign Language alphabet be taught to all children, and that it be part of all teacher training.
“It is so simple to learn and means that words can then be spelt out so that communication can be had with people who have hearing impairments.
“Children would get the opportunity to learn the sign language alphabet and understand just how important it is.
“Sarah is full of life, enthusiasm and exuberance. She is a joy to meet and to engage about her achievements. She is a role model for so many others to follow.
“Having initiated the Gaisce Awards over 30 years ago I was happy to attend at the invitation of Rehab to make the award presentation to an outstanding young woman.”