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The first Irish memoir written using eye-gaze technology has been published

The author, Simon Fitzmaurice, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2008.

Image: Tony Alter via Flickr/Creative Commons

THE FIRST BOOK written by an Irish author using eye-gaze technology has been published.

And the writer is no stranger to great accomplishments.

Late last year, he began fundraising to pay for on-set support to allow him to direct his first feature film, My Name is Emily, raising almost €120,000 in just under a month.

The author, Simon Fitzmaurice, is also a film director who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease more than six years ago.

The award-winning film director and father-of-five was diagnosed in 2008, just after his second short film, The Sound Of People, was screened at the prestigious Sundance Film festival.

He was given four years to live. In 2010, his lungs began to deteriorate, and against medical opinion, chose to combat this set-back with a ventilator.

Now he has released his novel, It’s Not Dark Yet, published by Hachette Books Ireland, written entirely using the technology that tracks his eye movements to allow him to type – it converts the movements into keystrokes.

Fitzmaurice was previously shortlisted by the Hennessy Literary Award for his short fiction.

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He currently lives in Greystones, Co Wicklow, with his wife, Ruth, and their five children.

Writing in TheJournal.ie today, a mother who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, also uses eye-gaze technology to share her experiences of the condition.

Emma Fitzpatrick began writing her blog, Shape Shifting Emma, two years after diagnosis.

Opinion: ‘Being stuck in a wheelchair without hands or speech is such a challenge as a mother’

Previously: Fundraising begins for “extraordinary” director’s first feature film >

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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