Leigh Gath

As Interviewed by Sophia Heinzen, April 24, 2016
"When I lived in Texas I actually got arrested when I protested outside the Governor's mansion when George Bush was Governor."
Leigh Gath

Introductory Profile: About Leigh Gath

Leigh Gath was born with a disability as the result of her mom taking Thalidomide, a drug that helped with morning sickness during pregnancy. Unfortunately, this drug had not been tested adequately, and Leigh Gath was born with shortened arms and legs. She is a disability rights activist. She was born in Northern Ireland and grew up the daughter of a bricklayer during a time period nicknamed “The Troubles,” which was a violent conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Her hometown, Newry, had a strong Irish Republican Army (IRA) presence and was constantly rocked by sniper attacks, car bombs, etc. Gath lived in Austin for twelve years while working at UT, before getting married for a second time to a friend of my family’s and moving back to Ireland.

Leigh Gath is a disability rights activist and has helped in many organizations to change laws and get bills passed. She has participated in many protests and has even gone to jail for it. Gath is currently working as a “Confidential Recipient” for the Health Services in Ireland. She receives complaints about abuse and neglect of people with disabilities. This interview is about her overcoming her struggles and fighting for disabled peoples’ rights.