Joanne O'Riordan announced as St Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshall

Joanne says it is "dream come true" to take up the role

Joanne O'Riordan, St Patrick's Day, Grand Marshall, Dublin, Festival, No Limbs, No Limits, Total Amelia

Joanne O'Riordan at the People of the Year Awards in 2012 | Image: RollingNews.ie

Joanne O'Riordan has been announced as Grand Marshall of this year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin.

At 19, she is the youngest person ever to lead the celebrations.

Joanne, who was born without arms or legs, has been awarded both Cork Person of the Month and Young Person of the Year.

She also spoke at the United Nations in 2012 about technology - where she challenged the technological minds of the world to invent a robotic device that would assist her in becoming even more independent.

Trinity College Dublin answered this call, and is currently in the process of developing 'Robbie the Robot'.

Recently Joanne appeared in an independent documentary titled 'No Limbs No Limits', which was directed and produced by her brother Steven.

The film explored Joanne's personal relationships with her family and those she meets on a daily basis.

"To be a part of it is a serious dream come true"

Joanne is a 2nd-year criminology student at University College Cork (UCC) and from Millstreet in Cork.

She is one of seven people in the world living with Total Amelia, a syndrome in which individuals are born without limbs.

On receiving the honour of Grand Marshal, Joanne said: "I am extremely honoured and delighted to be this year's Grand Marshall in the Dublin St Patrick's Day Festival".

"As a small child growing up in Millstreet I have always been awe-inspired and filled with joy seeing the colours, enthusiasm and buzz that fills the streets of Dublin every year".

"To be a part of it is a serious dream come true. I have been around the globe, to New York and Japan, giving the people with a disability in this world a voice".

"To be able to come home and be the Grand Marshall in this parade, it helps the people of Ireland see it's not the disability it's the ability. I am proud to be in the St Patrick's Day Festival and I'm incredibly proud to be a voice for the voiceless", she added.

She also tweeted her excitement: