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Hugh Hegarty
People don't get put down anymore


Hugh Hegarty, who is 64, lives in sheltered accommodation in the Waterside. A former factory worker, he is a lifelong Derry City fan.

Hugh had a happy childhood and was looked after well by his family. “I grew up on the Lone Moor Road and lived there for fifty years. I have two brothers and two sisters I get on well with them. I used to play football but not with my brothers and sisters. My brother played tennis.

“I have never spent any time in foster care or been in an institution for people with learning disabilities.”

Hugh’s learning disability was discovered at school. And at times he was picked on because of it.

“I was kept back a year when I was transferring from the wee school to the big school. The teachers didn’t bother much. I was treated differently because of my learning disability. I was the eejit of the class. I don’t remember any of the teachers being particularly good to me. At times, I was punished for things I didn’t do.”

Hugh left school without qualifications, although one teacher did spend extra time with him to ensure he had a grounding in English and Maths.

He got a job in Peter Englands shirt factory in Maydown as a packer, where he got on very well with the people he worked with.

Now retired, Hugh enjoys reading, watching TV and socialising with his friends from Destined. He loves football and used to attend Derry matches with the Creggan Supporter’s Club [since disbanded] and his brother. He is happy to be single.

Hugh believes that support for people with learning disabilities has improved significantly over his lifetime.

“It’s far better. People don’t get put down any more.”