BEING a wheelchair user doesn’t mean that Jessica Keegan accepts restrictions.
The 32-year-old poet declared that nothing is off-limits as she launched her first collection of poems earlier this month.
Jessica, who started writing poetry at tender age of 11, uses the art form as a way of expressing herself and engaging with the challenges she has had to experience throughout her life as a wheelchair user.
Living independently in Limerick City Centre, her message to those facing adversity is simple: “Believe in yourself”.
“Sometimes you have to accept your limits but continue to believe in yourself and not let yourself be restricted.”
Jessica is a service user with Enable Ireland, whom she credits for helping her embrace her talents and facing her challenges.
“Getting a good support network around you, like I have with Enable Ireland, is really important. With the right supports you might even exceed your expectations.”
In 2016, she graduated from Mary Immaculate College and received her certificate in General Learning and Personal Development.
As part of her four-year part-time course, Jess completed a work placement at campus radio station Wired FM.
“It was a very challenging programme but I really enjoyed the experience,” she said.
“It helped to keep my mind active, which is really important. The most enjoyable part for me was to be out in a mainstream college, mixing with people in the community.
“I want to get out in the world and make my mark on it. Being involved with the campus radio was a way to do that”.
Jessica attends Enable Ireland Quinn’s Cross day service, where she hosts poetry sessions weekly. It was through these sessions that she was inspired to put together her debut collection, ‘My Angels and Demons Through Poetry‘.
The collection was launched at the South Court Hotel on February 8, something Jess says was a “lifelong dream come true”.
“Having my own published poetry book makes me feel very happy, peaceful, and grateful.”
The collection, ‘My Angels and Demons Through Poetry‘, can be purchased directly from Jessica on 087 314 5097 or by email on [email protected].