A Dublin man with Down Syndrome has launched a new line of socks with some of the proceeds going to suicide charity Pieta House.
Thomas Barry, who also suffers from Perthes Disease, Hirschsprung Disease and has a heart murmur runs his business with his father, Finbar and cousin, Shane.
In addition Thomas, from Tallaght, has an underactive thyroid, hiatus hernia, stomach reflux and was the youngest person in Ireland ever to have hip replacements at just 28.
But the plucky businessman hasn’t let any of that hold him back and his company ‘Thomp2’ (as that’s what his signature looks Iike according to his dad) sells a wide range of socks.
Finbar Barry said the business is a great way to provide Thomas with a real job.
“I looked at options over the years in the hope to provide some way for Thomas to feel like he can have a job just like everybody else (bearing in mind his disabilities) and the answer was staring me in the face,” he said.
“Thomas has always played with socks; he is quite an expert with it after many years of practice.
“He never played much with toys in his early childhood but would go nowhere without his socks, some children get comfort from a teddy, but with Thomas it was always the socks.
“So, we launched Thomas’s Trendy Socks for Thomas selling socks the things he loves most.”
With every sale of the new line of socks, called ‘It’s OK, not to be OK’, Thomp2 will donate two euro to Pieta House and the services it provides.
Finbar says it’s important to talk about mental health.
“People listen, people understand. Just talking can be one of the most important steps on the road to recovery from depression.
“Pieta provides around the clock crisis intervention to those experiencing suicidal ideation. That’s why Thomp2 has teamed up with Pieta.”
You can visit Thomp2 at www.thomp2.com.