John Cleary

From Kilkenny city originally, I spent the bulk of my childhood and adolescence living in Africa, first in Kenya and then in Zimbabwe for 10 years. I returned to Ireland at the age of 17 to finish secondary school in boarding school in Dublin. In between then and now I completed a diploma of journalism in Brisbane, Australia, and a degree in media studies in Maynooth University. Along the way I worked as a journalist and editor for the Kilkenny Advertiser, and spent further extended spells living abroad in Italy and Australia.

No prizes for guessing then that travel is one of my passions. Other interests aside from the radio game include scriptwriting and film-making (I’m still waiting on that call from Hollywood!), music and poetry, and pretty much anything sports related. And I can be found most Friday nights DJing in Kytler’s Inn in Kilkenny.

As someone who values the basic principles of community, forming connections through shared experiences, nowhere has taught me this lesson quite as firmly as Kilkenny. Kilkenny to me signifies family, and community is a natural extension of that family. Community implies a close-knit collective of people who we can share our stories with, empathise and sympathise with and call on in times of need.

I see radio as the ideal medium through which we can provide a platform for the people of this community to share their stories, raise important issues and celebrate our diversity, promoting social inclusion for all members of our community. I hope this new incarnation of community radio in Kilkenny can achieve all that and more in its, hopefully, enduring lifetime.