Generous Jim gives back at his 60th party

By Amy Lewis

Jim Wallace, Lisa Ferguson (Dyslexia Association of Ireland) and Captain of Wexford Golf Club Paddy Cleary.
Jim Wallace, Lisa Ferguson (Dyslexia Association of Ireland) and Captain of Wexford Golf Club Paddy Cleary.

Jim Wallace celebrated his 60th birthday in style at Wexford Golf Club but instead of piling up the presents, he decided to give back to a good cause.

Owing to his experience of living with Dyslexia, the Wexford native asked his guests to replace gifts with a donation for the Dyslexia Association of Ireland. His selfless appeal raised a total of €800 for the cause.

'I was very impressed with the amount of contributions I received,' he said. 'Everyone was extremely generous.'

Jim, who works as a tailor in Whitemill Industrial Estate, has learned to cope with his condition but said that it hasn't always been easy. When he was a pupil, Dyslexia was not often recognised, which meant that he had to go through the normal school system. Although he is an able Spanish speaker, his condition and lack of help meant that he failed the subject in his Leaving Cert exams.

'When I was at the age where I was leaving school, my Dyslexia wasn't identified,' he said. 'Things have come a long way since then. It still does affect me for example, I could turn up at the wrong airport on the wrong day, but I just have to accept it and get on with things.'

In today's world, Jim believes that there is more awareness about Dyslexia.

'My two daughters are also Dyslexic but we were able to get them assessed at an early age and get assistance with their schoolwork,' he said. 'There's more understanding of what it is and people get accommodated for.'

Jim's birthday event also served as an opportunity for him to catch up with family and friends.

'I decided to have the celebrations because I was growing tired of only seeing relations at funerals,' laughed Jim, whose father once owned a tailorshop on Wexford's Main Street. 'It was a beautiful night and we had a great meal.'

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