An Irish schoolboy with Down Syndrome is urging employers to embrace inclusivity and “look beyond the CV”.
And 11-year-old Padraig O’Callaghan, who is Limerick Person of the Year 2021, is to tell this to 600 bosses next week.
In a sneak preview of his message seen by the Irish Mirror, he will say: “If I was to send my CV into your company it would probably end up in the bin.
“When I was born, people would come to my mam and dad and sympathise. Just pause and think about that for a second.
“It was on the back of this that my mam and dad encouraged me to be the best I could be, as any parent should, and it is how my Paudcast was born.”
Padraig was named Limerick Person of the Year last month after capturing hearts in his podcasts during the pandemic.
He and dad Brian produced videos to help his communication skills and confidence and to encourage positivity in others.
He will speak at a summit in Croke Park, Dublin, next Wednesday after his message reached All-Ireland Business Foundation chief Elaine Carroll.
She said: “Diversity is important but inclusion is vital. True inclusion brings people with diverse backgrounds, skill sets and abilities into the heart of organisations and makes them feel like they belong.
“Padraig has shown us what is possible for people with diverse abilities if they are supported and empowered to achieve their goals.
“The All-Ireland Business Foundation is proud to be part of Padraig’s inclusion revolution and we urge the Irish business community to get on board.”
Padraig has raised awareness for Down Syndrome Ireland, Special Olympics Ireland and Darkness Into Light.
He said: “I have been invited to interview the Taoiseach and the Tanaiste and even more importantly, I interviewed Santa Claus at the North Pole – a world exclusive. Am I boasting?
“No, not at all, please don’t think I am….all these things happened, not because I have Down syndrome, but because I am Padraig. Disability should not mean inability.”
Next Wednesday’s event will be the sixth Annual All-Ireland Business Summit since it was launched in 2014 and has brought together over 2,000 companies.
More information about the day, which is organised by the All-Ireland Business Foundation, is available on the allirelandsummit.com website.
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