A father has paid tribute to his 11-year-old son, Padraig, who was named Limerick Person of the Year after he inspired the local community during the pandemic with his weekly motivational videos called “Paudcasts”.
Pádraig O’Callaghan, from Knockainey, began working on weekly motivational videos with his father Brian during the Covid-19 lockdown. The podcast now has four seasons.
In an interview on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Brian said it was a way to help Padraig, who has Down Syndrome, with his communication skills and confidence.
“The podcast started by accident about two or three years ago at this stage. I was looking to help him with his communication skills and a way to entertain us during the first lockdown.
“We came up with this Monday motivation podcast. I had four or five ideas at the start of it, and it just took off. So we have kept going, and we are on season four.”
Pádraig was named Limerick Person of the Month in January of last year. Brian said that they were trying to manage his expectations when it came to the overall prize.
They were “stunned” when his name was called out at the ceremony.
“Because we didn’t think we would win it. They brought the 12 monthly winners up on stage to take a bow. So we told him ‘you probably won’t win. It is great that you are there and nominated.’
“We were totally shocked, stunned and overwhelmed. We had nothing prepared of all. He was over awed. He was overcome with emotion and stuck for words. “
Brian said it has been a challenging two years for Pádraig.
“It really was. If some people took hope or inspiration to overcome this situation we find ourselves in it is a good thing. He is great. He is as easy going as they come. A great support network. His school has been amazing.
“I can’t describe the sense of pride I feel. To share the stage with so many winners but to walk away with the award. It was overwhelming.”
Pádraig’s Paudcasts are published on Mondays on the social media platforms of Brian’s business, EcoStraws.