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Deaf Brothers' Deaths Raise Isolation Concerns

Deaf rights campaigners plead for recognition to prevent more tragedies like death of Daniel and William McCarthy.

DUBLIN -- Irish Examiner: The Irish Deaf Society said that, if given official status, Irish Sign Language would have to be used in State services and Deaf people would be less at risk of isolation.

Eddie Redmond, the society’s chief executive, said: “The Deaf community face huge barriers in accessing services due to the lack of services available through Irish Sign Language.

“Services such as social workers, home help, the HSE etc need to be more aware of the needs of Deaf people and the importance of communication and provision of information through ISL.”

Mr Redmond was speaking following the discovery of the bodies of semi-reclusive brothers, Daniel and William McCarthy, at their home in Dublin on Tuesday.

Originally from Kerry, the brothers, in their 70s, were Deaf with limited verbal communication, and lived together in a terraced home at the Millrose Estate in Bluebell, Dublin for many years.

Daniel is understood to have run the household and became carer for William in recent years. It is believed that he passed away several weeks ago and William was unable - or felt unable - to seek help.

Their remains were found by gardaĆ­ after a neighbour noticed Daniel’s car had not moved for some time and there had been no sign of either brother outside the house. Their deaths are expected to be referred to the coroner’s court for an inquest but foul play has been ruled out.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) declined to say if the brothers were in contact with any of its services in recent times or if it was reviewing any interactions they may have had.

A statement said: “The HSE cannot comment on individual cases but would like to offer sincere sympathy to the McCarthy family at this time.”

Groups working with older people urged people with concerns for their own well-being, or that of a neighbour, not to be afraid to knock on a door.

Alone said older people should be encouraged to approach their neighbours for help, while Age Action asked younger people not to worry about appearing nosy if they enquired after an older person in their community... Read More - Irish News.

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