SAMWI co-founder Jamie Googan meeting Joe Biden at the White House last month.

Clon man meets Biden

A Cork man who co-founded an organisation which helps people who stutter recently had the chance to meet US President Joe Biden.

Clonakilty native Jamie Googan is the co-founder of Stuttering Awareness Mental Wellbeing Ireland (SAMWI) and a board member of The World Stuttering Network.

On 15 March he received his second invitation to the White House where he finally got to meet President Biden having missed out due to Covid restrictions the first time.

Mr Googan said: “President Joe Biden has always been an inspiration to me. On this occasion, with Covid restrictions removed, I finally got to meet the president, thank him for the hope and inspirations that he provides so many young people with and tell him a little of the impact that his advocacy has had on me.”

Having lived with a stutter and for the last 5 years, Mr Googan has made it his mission to give hope and practical support to those who live with the condition as well as to their immediate families. SAMWI was established in 2020 with an aim to improve the quality of life of those who stutter.

Mr Googan and his SAMWI colleagues have established support groups, published support materials for education professionals, lobbied political leaders, and set about building strong relationships with and between Irish and international third level institutions.

“At all times I am driven by a desire to ensure that young people living in Ireland today do not go through the same experience I did,” said Mr Googan.

SAMWI is an apolitical organisation which has found numerous allies in the US who have been willing to help its cause.