Our company supporting Aware has inspired me to reflect on how I express myself and what my ‘go to’ is that makes my life a little brighter. Before I tell you about how I achieved my dream, I’ll share a brief intro about me and how I was motivated to succeed …
I work at Eirebus as the Compliance Manager, of which Swords Express and Fingal Express are a division and have enjoyed working here for nearly 20 years. I would consider myself an outgoing person, swapping a joke or two with friends and colleagues and generally having the craic and being a family man living with the pressures associated with family and working life including raising my special needs child. After losing two young sisters and my mother to cancer in a short space of time I found myself in a dark place in my life that was totally alien to my character. Not just dealing with bereavement and sadness, which time can heal, but harbouring really negative feelings, such as things I once liked, I now shied away from. A certain colour would remind of sad times, a song on the radio would either pick me up or do quite the opposite which is probably where I really became aware of the impact radio has on people. Fortunately, throughout this period of my life, I kept myself busy with what I truly enjoyed doing and worked hard to focus on the good things in life and thankfully left those darker times behind.
I have always had a passion for media, be it radio or TV. Always the comedian at the party but not having the bottle to get up on the stage. I put it down to lack of confidence. Always on my mind, one day I made the conscious decision to get involved in media however I could, and that’s exactly what I did. After an extensive online search, I signed-up with Movie-Extras and it was a brilliant decision because to date I have been involved with Fair City, Love Hate and even Bollywood productions with this agency. The buzz on set is incredible.
Music and radio helped me through my darker times in life and this is one of the ways I express myself today. I don’t just listen to it, or make it (I play guitar, badly!) but my ultimate passion is playing it on the radio for others to enjoy. I absolutely love connecting with people through radio and the music I play on it, so much so, I even set up my own small radio stream where I broadcast online, mostly at weekends.
A few years ago, one of my broadcasts was heard by the owner of a radio station network, WCWI 106FM, in the USA and while on holidays there, they invited me to co-host a breakfast show with broadcaster Bob Goff. I co-hosted the Breakfast Show, hiding my nervousness as much as I could, but to my great surprise, I received a lot of positive feedback from listeners which increased my confidence levels no end, and spurred me on to pursue my dream of being a radio broadcaster. Bob was a great help in honing my skills as a presenter, being vastly experienced in radio presenting and DJ’ing, he has spent all his working life in broadcast media. He is my mentor and my “go to guy” to this day. We hit it off immediately and remain close friends. I remember him saying, “why don’t you come on air and let our listeners hear that velvet Irish brogue?”. The next morning bright and early, at 5am, I co-hosted my first breakfast show on WCWI 106FM. And that was me hooked!
I was most definitely bitten by the ‘radio presenting bug’ and when I returned home to Dublin, I decided to continue exploring this and signed-up for the Today FM and Independent College radio production and presentation diploma course. With mentoring from top presenters of Today FM (such as Anton Savage and Phil Cawley) I successfully achieved my diploma in radio production and was given the opportunity to present a live radio show in the Today FM studios using all the knowledge I accumulated during the course. Without doubt, this gave me the skills needed to work in radio should I ever wish to choose it as my career but for now, I’m very happy working in Eirebus with a great team of people and using broadcasting as my hobby on a part-time basis.
How I set up my own radio station:
If anyone reading this wants to try their hand at radio broadcasting, this is how I began…..
I started my own online radio station, Eircast Online Radio, broadcasting on my own stream. I invested in some decent radio station playlist software and got myself an IMRO licence to broadcast music publicly, and using all these ingredients I got up and running and got out there on the cyber airwaves.
It’s never too late to follow your dream and to express yourself in whichever way makes you happy, and I strongly believe happiness makes for good mental health.