"I don't let it bother me at all" - Young Roscommon ladies footballer inspires with powerful interview
Aisling Hanly was born profoundly deaf but that doesn't stop her from playing the game she loves.
"I don't let it bother me at all," she says. "I don't let it define who I am."
Captain of the Convent of Mercy Roscommon team that will contest the All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools 'B' ladies football final next weekend, Hanly also plays for her county's senior team.
Her scrum cap protects her cochlear implants and allows her to play. The young Kilbride ladies footballer was interviewed by Jerome Quinn at the press-day for the finals, where, through her positivity and enthusiasm, she gave an inspirational interview.
"I wear the rugby scrum cap," said Hanly.
"I was born profoundly deaf and I wear two cochlear implants so when I go out onto the pitch, seeing as there are electrodes in my head - if I was to collide with another player, then I'd be in serious bother.
"So I wear the scrum cap for protection. I don't mind it at all. I've been wearing it since under-10 now."
Hanly says that sport has been a great way for her to gain confidence and encourages everyone to get involved.
"A few markers would ask me alright, 'oh, why are you wearing the scrum cap?'
"But I don't mind it at all. I love telling them the story. It's a thing to inspire younger players that may have the same problem as me and may have cochlear implants and may be afraid to go and play football.
"But yeah, I don't mind wearing it at all. It's part of me now, it's who I am."
"There's a bluetooth app on my phone which is how I control the implants.
"I can go on my phone and turn up the implants, turn them down, turn them off at night time. It's great for school as well because I can just go onto the phone and if the implant ever breaks down, I can go onto the app, see where the problem is and fix them from there.
"I don't let it bother me at all.
"It shouldn't bother anybody that has a disability from a young age - sport is a great way to get out, make friends and become more confident in yourself. I don't let it define who I am, I just go out and play my own game, enjoy the game and try and inspire the younger kids to do what you want to do."
You can watch the full interview with Jerome Quinn here.
"It's part of me. It's who I am.
"I don't let it bother me at all."
Aisling Hanly is one tremendous role model 👏
Great interview with @JeromeQuinn pic.twitter.com/hVqHCE8sXb
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) March 23, 2023