"One of Our Own" will feature ten Waterford natives on WLR

Ten Waterford natives, all inspirational and successful figures, will talk to the writer Catherine Foley as part of One of Our Own, a new series on WLR.

The series will air weekly and the line-up includes a politician, a newspaper editor, a traditional musician, a singer/songwriter, an entrepreneur, a broadcaster and a sports icon.

Producer RoseAnn Foley has created a powerful series that sheds light on the idea of what makes a true Waterford person. “They are all fascinating people,” she says. “I find their stories truly inspirational. I loved working on this series. And there’s a lovely vibe going through the series as Catherine and myself are old friends with a number of the guests. And then we met some of the others and we felt we had known them all along. It was a really enjoyable project.”

Over the course of ten weeks, these proud Waterfordians will revisit their childhood, their strong links with Waterford and discuss over half an hour the steps they have taken to reach their current position in the world. The series was made possible with the funding provided by the BAI and with the support of WLR.


In episode 1, the singer/songwriter Robbie O’Connell whose mother was one of the Clancys of Carrick-on-Suir, recalls growing up on the Cork Road and later touring in the US with his uncles. Listen in on Tues 11th January to hear about all of them, not forgetting Robbie’s father who from Scotch Quay in Waterford city

In episode 2 on Tues 18 Jan, Paul O’Neill, editor of The Irish Times, talks about his earliest memories as a child in Waterford city when his father Paddy O’Neill was editor of the Waterford News & Star. During the interview Paul also reads some of the nostalgic lines he penned in readiness for the day the senior hurling team brings the Liam McCarthy cup home to Waterford.

In episode 3 Barbara Grubb, a descendent of one of the principle families of the South of Ireland, the Fitzgeralds, Lords of the Decies, talks about why she cares and carries on her family’s legacy and how together with her husband, Nicholas, they manage the historic house and gardens of Dromana.

In the fourth program, Clodagh Walsh, a broadcast journalist with RTE for over 20 years, recalls her start with WLR, her theatrical links with the arts community in the city where she grew up and her return to her roots.


In episode five Mary Frances Ryan, the youngest female editor in the country when she took up her position as editor of the Waterford News & Star in 2008, talks about her pride in the newspaper and in the city.

Benny McCarthy, a founding member of Danú, one of Ireland’s best known and best loved traditional Irish groups, is the guest in episode 6 of the series. As Danú’s accordion player and its manager, he talks about the band, which he helped formed in West Waterford over 25 years ago.

In episode 7, Jim Swift remembers the summer of 2019 when he completed a mighty challenge, travelling around Ireland on a paddle board over the course of 35 days. He is the only person to have completed this unimaginable feat.

Irial Mac Murchú, owner of Nemeton in An Rinn, talks in the eighth episode about being owner of the company he set up in the early 1990s to service the television industry. Today with a workforce of 50, the company continues to push boundaries and compete at international level.

John Treacy burst onto the international scene in the late seventies, winning World Cross Country Championships two years in a row and then in 1984 coming home from the Olympic Games in Los Angeles with a silver medal for the marathon. In this new radio series he recalls growing up in his home village of Villierstown and he looks back at his sporting life.

In the concluding episode, Grace O’Sullivan, Greenpeace campaigner and MEP, talks about her childhood living by the sea and her recent campaign to have important environmental legislation adopted by the EU.

RoseAnn Foley, the series editor and an established tv producer, says

We wanted to provide a platform to celebrate and show-case well-known and highly successful Waterford people. I used to hear my father saying how ‘she’s one of our own’ or ‘he’s one of our own’. It meant he had great affection for that person so it was perfect as the title for our series.

Catherine, her sister, says: “I loved hearing the guests talk about their earliest years and their experiences of Waterford. What I noticed most was how spontaneous and honest they were.” Catherine, whose own memories of growing up in Waterford, entitled Beyond the Breakwater, was published by Mercier Press in 2018, says “the whole process of interviewing them made me feel very proud myself of being from Waterford”.

The series will be broadcast over the coming ten weeks at 6.30 pm each Tuesday from this Tuesday 11 January 2022.

1. Robbie O’Connell on 11 Jan.

2. Paul O’Neill on 18 Jan

3. Barbara Grubb on 25 Jan

4. Clodagh Walsh on 1 Feb

5. Mary Frances Ryan on 8 Feb

6. Benny McCarthy of Danú on 15 Feb

7. Jim Swift on 22 Feb

8. Irial Mac Murchú on 1 March

9. John Treacy on 8 March

10. Grace O’Sullivan MEP on 15 March.

More here on all programming on WLR.