Thomas and family sock it to them with new on-line firm

By Mary Dennehy

TALLAGHT resident Thomas Barry and his dad Finbar this week hit headlines, after they paired up to develop a family-run, online sock business – that is fulfilling Thomas’s dream of getting a job.

Living in Ellensborough, Thomas (33) is the youngest of seven children and is cared for by his parents Finbar and Maureen.

Thomp 2 1

Thomas at the launch of the new business with model Lisa Hogan and dad Finbar at the launch 

Born with Down Syndrome, Thomas also has, according to his dad Finbar, a number of serious illnesses, including Perthes disease – a condition that resulted in Thomas being the youngest person in Ireland to have a total hip replacement.

However, despite any challenges that Thomas may face, he has always dreamed of getting a job.

“When he reached the age of 14 he was constantly telling me he was going to get himself a job and to make a lunch for him,” Finbar said.

Thomas’ family has for a number of years been looking for an opportunity for Thomas, and have now developed a new online business called Thomp2 Socks.

According to Finbar, when Thomas signs his name it looks like Thomp2 – and this was chosen as the name of the company as it is something that Thomas will identify with.

Thomas Socks

Thomas on holidays with dad Finbar and mam Maureen 

Explaining the reason behind the online trendy sock site, which is ‘spreading love through socks’, Finbar said: “I have been looking at some options over the years in the hope to provide some way for Thomas to feel like he can have a job just like everybody else and the answer was staring me in the face.

“Thomas has always played with socks, he would put one sock into the other and swing them round his fingers for hours.

“He never played much with toys in his early childhood but would go nowhere without his socks, some children get comfort from a teddy, with Thomas it was always the socks.”

Alongside helping Thomas to fulfil his dream, the online business will also support a long-term plan for the 33-year-old.

“We hope that the business can also help with Thomas’s needs now and into the future,” Finbar said.

“A lot of Thomas’s needs are quite expensive . . . and we don’t want Thomas to want for anything.”

According to Finbar, the family’s Tallaght home requires work to make it more suitable for Thomas.

“Thomas needs an elevator, a wet room, a proper orthopaedic bed and a new wheelchair,” Finbar said.

“We are wholly grateful for the wheelchair we have but Thomas is starting to outweigh it.

“He also needs special shoes, physiotherapy and has other medical needs.

“Part of the reason for setting up the company is to put in place a long-term plan for Thomas, while helping him to fulfil his dream [of working].”

Pledge to St John of God's 

Five per cent of the company’s profits have also been pledged to St John of God’s, which has cared for Thomas since he was three.

Last week the company was officially launched in the Hampton Hotel in Donnybrook.

Thanks have been extended to Paul Dillon Photography, model Lisa Hogan, Ms Ruby Music, Paul Jones, Graham Kennedy, photographer John Hickey and the Hampton Hotel who supported the launch.

“Thomas was on top of the world at the launch . . . he was over the moon,” Finbar said.

“There are such wonderful people out there who helped us, people we didn’t even know before [the launch].

“Thanks to all of our friends and family who not only came to support us on the day but have supported us throughout the venture so far.”

Finbar also wished to thank his grandson Shane who is part of the Thomp2 team with Thomas and his grandad, and looks after the IT.

The online business is now live, with a section of the site also dedicated to ‘socks in support of’ Down Syndrome, Autism awareness, breast cancer and other causes.

Follow the company HERE on Facebook

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