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Meet the team: ‘I’m looking forward to a pint with my Da’

10 minutes with KCLR's Eimear Ní Bhraonáin

She once wrote a book about living in Obama’s Moneygall and she has been interested in news since her early years, when she wrote a newspaper for her family.
Eimear Ní Bhraonáin is the Head of Content at KCLR and the Graiguecullen presenter of KCLR Live points out that she’s from the Carlow side of the border.

1: How long have you been working at KCLR?
Since March 2014.

2: What’s the best thing about your job?
Covering local stories. I have always been interested in what’s going on around me, and how it fits in the wider world. I think there’s no better way to explain a universally important issue than through a local story. It’s a privilege to be able to uncover information and to have an engaged audience every morning.

3: What is the biggest challenge with your role?
Saying no. Everybody has a story that’s important to them but within our resources, it can be very difficult to cover everything. You have to find what you’re good at and stick with it, you’ll never please everybody and it’s important to be honest with people about the limitations of your job. Legal restrictions, a lack of manpower to spend months investigating – these are real challenges we face in local journalism. In saying that, there’s a lot we can do and we always respond to what matters to our listeners.

4: Tell us something about yourself that people might not know about you.
I once moved to Moneygall to become the only “resident journalist” to be there for the visit of the US President Barack Obama. I published a souvenir book on the historic visit.
I covered the story of a little known senator some years ago when I worked in a now defunct newspaper called The Tipperary Voice. The same senator went on to become the most powerful man in the world. I admired Barack Obama and all he achieved. I wanted to be immersed in the story and to cover it, not from a distance as a member of the accredited media. I worked for the Irish Independent at the time, so I decided to live in Moneygall as a “villager” and to get the same access to Barack Obama as the crowds on the streets that day, and feel the real excitement. I got huge coverage for the story and reported it for media outlets throughout the world. It was an incredible experience for a young journalist. People may not know that I also spent a considerable length of time covering serious news stories from around the midlands and the south-east.
Crime, politics and everything in between. I shadowed Brian Cowen when he was Taoiseach on my beat as midlands correspondent for the Independent titles.

5: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always kept a diary and wrote a family newspaper when I was younger that I would send to my uncle when he lived abroad to keep him up-to-date on all our news. I have always wanted to be a writer. I didn’t realise that this meant a journalist at a primary school age. I thought I’d write books but as I got into my teenage years, I spent the mornings listening to Gerry Ryan on the radio on school holidays and night times glued to Questions and Answers, Don’t Feed the Gondillas and any other news programmes.

6: What are you watching on Netflix?
Tiger King. It’s so weird and captivating. Strange word to use considering it’s about tigers too… I won’t spoil it, you need to watch it.

7: What are you most looking forward to doing when restrictions are lifted?
I’m looking forward to a pint with my da in the Irishman’s in Carlow. It’s been a while!

8: What have you learned about yourself in these last few weeks?
I am stronger than I think. Experience teaches you resilience.

9: Tell us about the last time you felt embarrassed.
My partner is Alan O’Reilly from Carlow Weather and we often share funny family snaps of each other on social media. We are very sociable, not normally shy but I had a rare moment of mortification when I saw he shared a video of me running like a lunatic while playing a game of “Shake off” in the sitting room with my six-year-old on the Carlow weather Instagram account.

10: If you could have dinner with anyone in world, who would you choose?
Dougal (Fr Ted fame) always says never meet your heroes, you’ll only be disappointed. At the moment, dinner with anybody would be wonderful outside the home. I’m going to say, the brilliant producer of KCLR Live, Christine Tobin. I’d love to take her out to dinner to say thanks for all her hard work.

Every day, KCLR tells its many listeners about the amazing people in communities across Carlow and Kilkenny. And while we focus on the news, stories and music that matters to you – we are delighted to introduce you to the folks who work at KCLR.