Toy Show Star Paudie interviews Taoiseach and Tánaiste

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Fresh from the Late Late Toy Show, 11-year-old Pádraig (Paudie) O’Callaghan, who helped host Ryan Tubridy recreate Harry Styles’ Treat People with Kindness music video, swapped the dance moves for a sit-down interview with the Taoiseach and Tánaiste.

Paudie, who is a seasoned reporter with his successful Paudcast series, hails from Knockainey Co Limerick and attends Knockainey National School, recorded a very special episode to help Down Syndrome Ireland mark its 50th Anniversary.

Paudie asked both leaders about the issues facing people with Down Syndrome, the 21 demands that have been asked of government and how society’s attitude is changing towards people with Down syndrome. Paudie also asked a different variety of questions, learning that Leo Varadkar’s favourite food is chicken wings and that Mícháel Martin finds being Taoiseach tougher than being a teacher.

Speaking about the experience, Paudie said: “It was fantastic meeting the Taoiseach and Tánaiste. I visited Government Buildings and we sat and chatted in their offices. They both gave me lots of time and I felt very important. I got to see things that most people never get to see and I asked them what they thought it was like to be me, someone with Down Syndrome.”

Also commenting, Barry Sheridan, CEO Down Syndrome Ireland, said: “The Paudcast is a superb example of how people with Down syndrome can be so much more involved and integrated in today’s society. It demonstrates the possible, and we have been delighted that Pádraig chose to work with us on this project as we raise the issues that affect everyone with Down syndrome.”

Paudie started the podcast as his father Brian felt it would assist in the young boy’s confidence and could ultimately improve his communication skills while the schools were shut during lockdown. You can tune into all of Paudie’s podcasts on www.paudcast.ie .

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