'This country doesn't want my son': Cork father speaks out about deaf son's fears for the future

'This country doesn't want my son': Cork father speaks out about deaf son's fears for the future

Andrew Geary, a garda sergeant from Ballyhooly near Fermoy, spoke on the Ryan Tubyridy Show this morning about the fears his young son Calum has for his future. Picture: David Keane.

THE father of a Cork boy who was born deaf has spoken of his fight to give his son the best opportunity in life.

Andrew Geary, a garda sergeant from Ballyhooly near Fermoy, spoke on the Ryan Tubridy Show this morning about the fears his young son Calum has for his future.

The 12-year-old is a half twin with Donncha, who has full hearing. He also has two older brothers.

Andrew said: “Something happened a few weeks ago that shook Helen and I to the absolute core. Calum is so bright, he has a great sense of humour, he loves going to school. 

"He said ‘Mom, dad, I have something to tell you.’ It was a sit down moment but we didn’t get to sit down.

"He said: ‘I’m never going to have a job and it’s because I’m deaf.’ He just walked off."

In 2012, Andrew and his wife Helen had hoped that surgery in the UK would grant him the power of hearing but it failed. 

He was born without hearing nerves, meaning he has never heard anything.

He and his family now use sign language to communicate and he attends St Columba’s School in Cork city.

But Andrew said he himself feels like a failure because “my son is so wanted inside the front door of my house, but when he steps outside that front door, this country that I love with my heart and soul, doesn’t want my son.” 

During the interview, Andrew praised the teachers of St Columba’s. But he said he believes his son should also have an interpreter in school to assist him to reach his full potential.

He said: “He needs a bridge to his potential.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content