Paddy Smyth with Cerebral Palsy refuses to let his condition deter his quest for love and has developed a strong social media following
paddy who refuses to let his disability stop him from finding love.Paddy Smyth, 28, has cerebral palsy in both legs and relies on crutches to get around. But undeterred, he has used his condition to build a huge following on Snapchat with his warts-and-all blogs.And Paddy is now taking his quest for love to the next level by appearing on First Dates Ireland.On tonight’s show, viewers will find out whether he met the man of his dreams.But even if there’s no happy ending, the Dubliner hopes his appearance will strike a chord with viewers.He said: “I signed up for First Dates because somebody has to shine a light on what it’s like to date with a cerebral palsy. Someone has to pull down the barriers.“I’m a hopeless romantic at heart and I believe there has to be someone out there for me. It upsets me that I have insecurities but I just feel that if I don’t push the boundaries, who’s going to?”Paddy’s followers are used to seeing him share his experiences of dating with a disability on his @paddyysmyth handle.
He was encouraged to start blogging by fellow Snapchat star James Kavanagh.Paddy said: “It just snowballed from there. I wanted to show what it’s like to be in your 20s, living with a disability, having a job, doing stuff like learning to drive or trying to access restaurants.“I do a lot of aspects of disabled dating, and I talk about everything, such as the perks of having a cerebral palsy, but also the aspects that are hard to find out about, like finding yourself shocked with society’s perception of you.”Of his TV experience, he said: “I had a glass of wine and then the guy came in and I was panicking because I couldn’t remember his name, and I was wondering did he know I had a cerebral palsy.”He revealed: “I don’t regret doing the show as I really wanted to push myself.“There is a bit of change now around dating with disabilities and I hope I’m part of that movement, because for the first time in my life I feel attractive.”