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Voice of the Mirror: Courageous Claire beats Omagh hell.

COURAGE is displayed in many different ways.

On a battlefield, it can earn a soldier a medal. But great courage can also be found in less dramatic circumstances.

Few could argue that it's what Claire Gallagher has been displaying for the past three years. As a 15-year-old girl, she was left blinded and badly disfigured by the Omagh bomb blast.

It was a doubly crippling blow for a young girl on the brink of womanhood. After many months in hospital, her injuries healed but her scars remain and sadly her sight has gone for ever.

Who could have blamed Claire if she had pulled the duvet over her head and cocooned herself in self-pity for ever?

After all, she was totally innocent. Life had dealt her a rotten hand.

But Claire refused to give up, and day after day she fought against all the odds to make something of her life.

Yesterday, that struggle brought her another milestone along the stony path that has become her destiny.

Among all the thousands of A-level successes being celebrated across Britain, none was more poignant than the one in the Gallagher household.

Claire has overcome her disability to win a place at university.

Now that's courage.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Leader
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2001
Previous Article:Paul Starling Column: PAT'S MENNA FROM HEAVEN.
Next Article:A-level girls and boys have ALL done us proud; BRITAIN'S MOST AMAZING EXAM STORIES.

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