Toy Show star Pádraig (Paudie) O’Callagan sat down with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadker in their offices at Government Buildings to ask them a series of wide-ranging questions.
Paudie, who helped Ryan Tubridy recreate the iconic Harry Styles Treat People with Kindness music video on this year’s Late Late Toy Show, has now taken his considerable talents to the corridors of power.
The 11-year-old Limerick native is a seasoned reporter with his successful Paudcast series and he recorded a very special episode to help celebrate 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 attitudes are changing towards people with Down syndrome.
He also asked Leo Varadkar what his favourite food is and if Mícháel Martin finds being Taoiseach tougher than being a teacher.
Speaking about the experience, Paudie said: “It was fantastic meeting An Taoiseach and An 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 Padraig 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.