An Athlone woman is to make her mark on the national airwaves next month after being given the job of producer on the Tom Dunne Show on Newstalk radio.
Eithne Kelly (28 ) from Slí an Aifreann, but originally from Kilgarvan, Fardrum will take up her position running the two-hour show in Marconi House on St Stephen’s Green on June 10.
Eithne has spent the last six years learning her trade at Shannonside FM in Longford where she produced the Joe Finnegan Show each morning.
Ms Kelly came to national notice last year when she secured the first interview in the country with the bankrupt ex-billionaire Sean Quinn, having previously also secured a similar exclusive with Fr Kevin Reynolds, the priest who was libelled by RTE’s PrimeTime in 2011.
“They [Newstalk] let me know on the bank holiday weekend [May 4], on my birthday, which was pretty cool,” said Eithne, before admitting she will have some pangs of regret moving on.
“I love the Joe Finnegan Show. It was a great experience,” she stressed.
“The listeners are truly amazing, and have been genuinely so chuffed for me that I’m moving on,” she said.
“I’ve got to say I’m leaving the show on a serious high after this year,” she said, referring to her Quinn and Reynolds scoops.
The Advertiser asked Eithne what she enjoyed most during her tenure at Shannonside, and she replied: “Getting the OB [outside broadcast truck] to work without a blip”.
“We have a huge region and we need to get out and about. Joe is very comfortable talking to everyone,” said Ms Kelly, referring to her five-county region, which stretches from the Offaly border to Tyrone’s.
“And I really love the random, quirky items you just don’t get elsewhere. The best moments are when ordinary people genuinely trust you to tell their story publicly on the radio. I find it amazing people trust local radio to deal with their intimate story. I feel they don’t see us as strangers. I have relationships with people I’ve never met. I love that intimacy. I’m leaving with a heavy heart,” she lamented.
Ms Kelly attended the Bower in Athlone, before attending NUI Galway, and then taking a postgraduate diploma in TV and radio production at NUI Maynooth.
She did some work with both the Athlone Voice and Midland Radio 3 before taking up her tenure with Shannonside nearly seven years ago.
Tom Dunne, the former frontman of band Something Happens in the 80s and 90s, moved into radio in 1999 with a music show at 98FM, before moving to Newstalk in 2008 and acquiring his own talkshow.