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Robinson speaks about hearing loss


Monday February 20th 2012

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and his deputy Martin McGuinness have revealed that they both suffer from hearing difficulties.

Mr Robinson said he became deaf in one ear overnight two years ago and initially thought it could mean the end of his political career.

He said: "I just woke up one morning to find I had lost the hearing of my left ear. My first reaction was to doubt that I could carry on my job.

"I did at first assume it would interfere too much with the discharge of my duties."

Mr McGuinness said he has been affected by tinnitus for 10 years.

The DUP leader said: "You work around it. After some weeks of saying nothing about my hearing impairment to colleagues I realised that nobody had noticed."

"There are occasions when it is particularly difficult, if there is noise in the room that makes it difficult to pick up on what is said but life can be dealt with in a normal way by working around whatever disability you have."

Figures show that around 300,000 people in Northern Ireland suffer from tinnitus or other forms of hearing loss.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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