PaddygoesUp!

by Suzanne Bennett, Quality Coordinator Sunbeam House Services

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Paddy Murphy is a man in his forties who loves to be in the middle of ‘the crack’ and has a great sense of fun. He uses an electric wheelchair and lives with others in a Sunbeam House residence in Rathdrum in Co. Wicklow. People who know him say he’s a bit of a daredevil, and he loves to push the boundaries.

Paddy’s verbal communication is limited to a few choice words, but he makes himself understood by those who take the time. In 2008, as a result of his Personal Outcomes meeting, Paddy applied to the Jubilee Trust to join the crew of the Tall Ship Lord Nelson, which was due to dock in Dublin that summer. The Jubilee Trust is a registered charity that owns and operates the Lord Nelson and Tenacious, the only two tall ships in the world designed and built to enable people of all physical abilities to sail side-by-side as equals.

After an initial assessment on board, Paddy was raring to go and was delighted when he and his key worker, Lisa Dillon, were invited to join the crew for an upcoming voyage.

During the ten day voyage from Dublin to the Western Isles of Scotland, Paddy got the opportunity to see amazing sights of whales and dolphins, to make great friends with sailors from other countries and to share in the challenge of sailing a tall ship on the open sea. Some of these challenges caused more stress to Lisa that to Paddy, like being hoisted up the main mast on the first day, an important initiation task for all new crew members.

Paddy loves to share the slide show from his adventure, especially the two shots of Paddy being hoisted up the mast to the Crow’s Nest!
Above: Paddy on board ship, and right, sailing into dock on the Western Isles of Scotland.
Left: Paddy on his way, and up on the mast.

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