Roscommon footballer Aisling Hanly hopes she will be an inspiration to other young people who have cochlear implants.
"I was born profoundly deaf and I wear two cochlear implants so when I go out onto the pitch there are electrodes in my head and if I was to collide with another player, then I'd be in serious bother," she said in an interview with Jerome Quinn, explaining why she wears a rugby scrum cap during games.
"So I wear the scrum cap for protection. I don't mind it at all. I've been wearing it since under-10 now.
"A few markers would ask me alright, 'oh, why are you wearing the scrum cap?' But I don't mind it at all. I love telling them the story.
"It's a thing to inspire younger players that may have the same problem as me and may have cochlear implants and may be afraid to go and play football. But yeah, I don't mind wearing it at all. It's part of me now, it's who I am."
The teenager is part of the Convent of Mercy Roscommon team which has reached the All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Senior B final where they will play Mercy Mounthawk from Kerry.
"There's a bluetooth app on my phone, that's how I control the implants," she continued.
"I can go on my phone and turn up the implants, turn down the implants, at night time turn off the implants. If the implant breaks down, I can just go onto the app, see where the problem is, fix the implants from there.
"I don't let it bother me at all. It shouldn't bother anybody with a disability from a young age.
"Sport is a great way to get out, make friends and become more confident in yourself. The rugby scrum cap, I don't let it define who I am, I just go out and play my own game, enjoy the game and try and inspire the younger kids to do what you want to do."
'I was born profoundly deaf..'
See @RoscommonLGFA star Aisling Hanly explain her remarkable story ahead of the @lidl_ireland All Ireland Post-Primary Schools Finals.
Aisling will captain Convent of Mercy Roscommon in the Senior B decider against Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee. pic.twitter.com/fdlfgnK54H
— Ladies Football (@LadiesFootball) March 22, 2023