Tipperary man affected by Thalidomide drug still seeking redress

Poem 'Still Broken' by Thalidomide victim Kieran Lyons.

A Tipperary man whose mother took the Thalidomide drug while pregnant with him in the 70’s is still battling for his right to redress.

Kieran Lyons, originally from Clonmel, but living in Ardfinnan, did not qualify for the compensation payment, as proof of his mother taking the drug could not be found.

He said that despite being living proof, he has fought battles to get the disability payment and is still trying to obtain a medical card.

Speaking on Tipp Today, Kieran explained how difficult the road has been and the obstacles he has faced.

“Well I was born with no fingers or toes and obviously I couldn’t walk then, I obviously had no balance.

“I was in hospitals all over the place, from Dublin to Croom, everywhere, apparently I spent a year and a half in a full body cast, I don’t know what that was about, trying to get this information now is near impossible.

“I spent a lot of my youth in hospital.

“I had something like 30-something operations and apparently I was anointed 13 times.”

Kieran finished the interview by reading a powerful poem he wrote, which we have transcribed.

‘Still Broken’

On the 5th of March, 1960, I was born broken.
And all because of a little pill my mother took.
Hoping that it would take away the awful sickness in the morning.
The ‘miracle pill’ as it was known, did was intended,
But on the 5th of March, 1960, I was born amended.
The word spread fast around the town about the little broken baby,
Who by now was sure to die, but battled on barely.
The missing bits for socks and mitts was the big news of the day,
And the little pill that did its work quietly slipped away.
Those behind the little pill claimed it did no wrong,
But as more and more broken ones appeared,
They had to change their song.
As the years went by and talk had turned to some sort of remittance,
And in the early 70’s some received pittance,
But not the broken baby born on March the 5th.
Cos a scared doctor and chemist couldn’t find it on their list.
Years and years have gone by now and still no slice of pie,
Because the pill man and the barrister await the broken boy to die.
The little boy is old now,
And is still denied his right,
From the sneaky little pill man known as Thalidomide.