« BackDeaf community criticises media coverage of McCarthy brothers

The media coverage of the deaths of two West Kerry brothers – who were found at their home in Dublin this week – has been strongly criticised by the deaf community.

A letter published in today’s Irish Independent decries the media coverage surrounding William and Daniel McCarthy, who were in their 70s and were both deaf.

The brothers, originally from Glens outside Dingle, were found at their house in Bluebell, Dublin on Tuesday – Gardaí described the situation as a ‘tragic accident’.

A letter in today’s Irish Independent criticised the media coverage surrounding William and Daniel McCarthy.

The letter, signed by a number of native Irish sign language users, stated “many aspects of the reporting did no justice at all to the brothers’ characters” and that the Irish deaf community knew the brothers very well, who were fluent Irish sign-language users.

In fact, they stated “many within the deaf community considered the McCarthy brothers to be poetic and eloquent” and not at all ‘limited’ in their communication.

They said “it was ironic neither the neighbours nor age-related advocacy organisations, quoted by the media, were aware of the reality on the ground”.

A bill recognising Irish sign language (ISL) is due to be debated in Seanad Éireann.


In conculsion, the letter called for ISL bill to progress through all stages in the Oireachtas, in fitting tribute to the McCarthys.