Five young Laois people from a range of different backgrounds are set to feature in a brand new podcast series.
IMRO award winning broadcaster Ann Marie Kelly has launched “If the bedroom walls had ears” as part of the Laois ‘Keep Well’ Campaign.
The Podcast series consists of six episodes available weekly and shares with us the stories of a twelve year old ‘Carer of the year’; a sixteen year old transgender boy; an eighteen year old girl with Down Syndrome preparing for college but exercising every day through Zoom; a PhD research student exploring the marketisation of home care in Ireland; and a R&B singer from Mountmellick currently making waves in Dublin.
Sean Ryan from Portlaoise is a 12-year-old carer whose twin has severe Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and he features in one of the episodes.
Sean won Leinster Carer of the Year in 2018 and feels a deep connection to his twin brother who is non-verbal.
Another episode tells the story Kai O’Neill – a 17-year-old from Portlaoise who transitioned during the pandemic. His parents are right by his side and want him to be happy just like any other kid.
18-year-old Aoife Byrne from Mountmellick also features and shines a light on what it is like to live with Down Syndrome while striving to go to college, drive a car and own her own house in the middle of the country.
Nicholas O’Neill from Abbeyleix is the first in his family to go to college and, as part of the Irish Research Council’s ‘Government of Ireland’s programmes, received a substantial award to undertake a PhD at University College Dublin.
In another episode, he explains how his research is uncovering how the Irish healthcare system has become a profit-driven industry – often at the expense of its poorly paid workers.
While Tobi A, a singer from Mountmellick who found Christianity as a teenager and now lives in Dublin, has been recognised by Hot Press as a bright new star on the R&B scene. His story also features.
Speaking ahead of the Podcast series, Ann Marie Kelly said: “The core idea behind the new Podcast series “If the bedroom walls had ears” is, if we can’t put these young people on an event stage in front of people, let’s use those screens to hear what they have to say from the safety of their own space.
“The series platforms a group of people finding hope and purpose and coming to wisdom on their individual and unique journeys.”
This Podcast Series is available to download weekly on Spotify, Apple and Soundcloud from Monday March 15 with new episodes available over six weeks.
The series is also airing every Monday at 7pm from March 15 on Ann Marie Kelly’s Midlands 103 The Open Door show.