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Nicky McFadden has voted to continue work as a TD despite her diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease.
Nicky McFadden has voted to continue work as a TD despite her diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease.
Image: Photocall Ireland

FG TD vows to continue working after Motor Neurone diagnosis

Longford-Westmeath TD Nicky McFadden was diagnosed with the disease last week.
Jun 5th 2012, 2:53 PM 6,279 18

A FINE GAEL TD has vowed to continue serving her constituents after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease.

Nicky McFadden, a TD for Longford-Westmeath, today revealed she had been diagnosed with the condition late last week, after months of medical testing.

“About eight months ago, I noticed having to slow down my speech in order to avoid slurring my words,” McFadden said in a statement today, saying she had been formally diagnosed last Thursday by Prof Orla Hardiman of Beaumont Hospital.

“When I became symptomatic, I initially thought it was something to do with my vocal cords. But each medical test proved negative and it was a very frustrating time. The possibility of Motor Neurone Disease only emerged in the last fortnight.

While 75 per cent of people with Motor Neurone Disease first present with muscle weakness in the arms and legs, the onset of my condition is subtle, and has only affected my speech so far.

I feel absolutely fine, and I completed a ten mile walk for the ICA just three weeks ago.

McFadden said that the slowing of her speech was the only symptom at present, and she was determined to “maintain my workload as energetically as I have up until now”.

“My offices in Mullingar and Athlone have never been busier, and, as far as I’m concerned, it is business as usual representing the people of Longford and Westmeath in Dáil Eireann.”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny expressed his admiration at McFadden’s stance, saying he had “no doubt that Nicky will continue her work with her customary conviction and energy”.

McFadden, 49, was first elected as a councillor in 1999 and entered the Oireachtas as a senator on the Administrative Panel in 2007. She was elected a TD in February 2011.

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Gavan Reilly

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