A few weeks ago as the summer holidays were coming to a close and my head was fizzing with back to school plans, I got a text. 

It was from a friend. 

Normally texts from friends, regardless of content, are welcome. 

I read it and found myself doing that thing where you suck air through clenched teeth while frowning and quietly shaking your head .

Not a good look! 

It was Paddy Gilley from Cork Commuinty Radio. 

Paddy is an old hand by now at the talk show having presented various shows with Cork community Radio for the best part of two and a half years.

He would be hosting a show called Open House on Sunday nights from 9-12 pm. 

The first hour or so was to be devoted to topical subjects from the point of view of women. 

So lets be clear this was NOT going to be a show about womens issues, but a show about issues, on which women would be commenting.

Paddy was recruiting contributors for the show- would I like to take part?


It’s been many years since I participated in anything that could be described as public speaking. In 3rd class my mother (bless her soul) seeing that I was very shy “volunteered” me for reading at Sunday mass. I did object- hugely. But like all objections at that age I knew I would not get out of it without giving it a try. 

Credit to the curate at the time who did practice sessions the Friday before curtain call. He shared a few tips with us nervous kids that were as valuable as diamonds; stand up straight, place your hands on the pulpit, pick a place to look in the crowd, don’t rush.

Success followed. I managed my fear for many’s the Sunday, stood up straight and delivered the text before me with very few stutters.

Inspite of this success I opted to work in the background for our secondary school play and not appear on stage or in the chorus. 

And so it went over the course of my life to present. Never being comfortable with what I would think of as “performing” I’ve said no to a lot of things, big and small.

But the older I get the more apparent it has become that this is your chance. Your chance to say “YES”, your chance to DO, your chance to “LIVE A LITTLE”


As I say my initial thought was “Gawwdd no”, this is not for me.

Then something transforming happened, there was a moment where a life worth of “Gawd no’s” flashed through my mind, carried along in a tide of disappointment and regret.

“Yes!” I replied  “would love to have a go”.


This show came about partly in response to the observations of the likes of Margaret E Ward that women are under represented on radio in Ireland, and partly because Paddy likes the idea of being surrounded by many beautiful women on a sunday night… Well Ok! So he didn’t say that , but surely, who wouldn’t?


Anyhow, three weeks in and I can actually say I am enjoying it. Enjoying meeting some new people- Niamh and Christine (so far). Enjoying exercising the ol’ grey matter and most of all so happy that I chose to say “YES”.


Open House is presented by Paddy Giley at 9-12pm Sunday nights on Cork Community Radio 100.5fm.

Tune in, take part, say YES.