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Mikey O Doherty pictured above set up the positivity focused chat show using resources provided by Enable Ireland Mikey O Doherty pictured above set up the positivity focused chat show using resources provided by Enable Ireland

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Mikey O Doherty sets up chat show ‘Questions with Mikey’ with the help of Enable Ireland

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Mikey O Doherty sets up chat show ‘Questions with Mikey’ with the help of Enable Ireland

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Tara Byrne

A Limerick man with cerebral palsy named Mikey O Doherty has set up a chat show ‘Questions with Mikey’ by using the beneficial services provided by Enable Ireland.

Mikey O Doherty is in his twenties from Limerick and halfway through a degree in History and English from Mary Immaculate College. He also attends Enable Ireland Adult Services in Quinn’s Cross, Limerick and has been using their Virtual Adult Service throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The service came about after the first lockdown in 2020 and is a virtual community centre enabling individuals to engage with activities at their local Enable Ireland service from the comfort and safety of their own home. The daily timetable of different activities are chosen by the adults themselves and reflect their diverse interests from music, to art, gardening to cooking and a host of other interests. As part of the service, Mikey runs a weekly show called ‘Questions with Mikey’ where he interviews inspirational guests on their experiences, passions and the big questions in life, all in his very own relaxed conversational style.

Tommy Tiernan was Mikey’s biggest inspiration for the show. Mikey said, “I don’t rehearse with guests or do a dry run in advance. I do it all live. The guests don’t know what questions I am going to ask them. It’s a conversation really. The shows are 45 minutes long and at the end, I open it up to the floor. I’ve got a great audience and it’s always lively! I give them 45 minutes of chat about life, people’s passions and everything non-covid! I get to know my guests over the course of the interview and gradually work up to the big questions”.

Guests have included Shane Dowling the All-Ireland medal-winning Limerick Hurley, Joy Neville the first female referee for a European cup match, Ger McTavish the Head of Diversity and Inclusion in the GAA and musician Sean Keane.

Enable Ireland have provided essential online services to their users during the pandemic. Mikey said, “The Virtual Adult Service has been brilliant. It’s helped to keep me going this last year. We’ve built a community and you can really get to know people. I feel like I have a bigger group of contacts now because of it. It’s opened up new opportunities for me, like hosting my own chat show. I still love coming into the centre in Quinn’s Cross. If I am having a bad day at college, I know I can just drop in for a cup of coffee. All the staff here are brilliant”.

Founded in 1948, Enable Ireland provides services for 9,200 children and adults with disabilities and their families in 15 counties.

Their services for children and their families cover all aspects of a child’s physical, educational, and social development from early infancy through adolescence.

They offer a range of services to adults with disabilities which include day-care, training, personal development, supported and independent living, and social and leisure activities.

The demand for their services continues to increase throughout Ireland. They have set themselves the challenging goal of meeting these needs by providing a full range of high-quality services and expanding into local communities.

Enable Ireland is part-funded by the State. Every year they require over €2 million in additional funding to meet the costs of delivering their services. Without this additional income from their shops and fundraising, they would not be able to meet the needs of the children and their families relying on their services.

Mikey is taking a break from the chat show for the Summer and is going to be making podcasts but promises to be back with a bigger and better show in September. He hopes that once Covid is over, he can hold his own show in the Enable Ireland centre in front of a live audience to go along with the virtual show. It will be great to be able to sit across from my guests when I interview them.”

For more stories about Enable Ireland go HERE 

For more information about Enable Ireland go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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