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The Tonic

Age Friendly Ireland

Kilkenny County Council Logo

Programme: Kilkenny

WHO Theme: Communication And Information

Health & Wellbeing Theme: Positive Mental And Emotional Health, Staying Connected

Funding Stream: Community Resilience Fund Covid

Resources Required: Financial, Paid Staff, Volunteer Staff, Advertising and promotions costs

Cost: 0-500


The Tonic is part of the ‘Keep Well’ campaign to support people and communities to mind their physical and mental health during these difficult times. The overall aim of The Tonic is to feature content that serves as a welcome distraction to the often difficult and serious news that dominates the headlines these days. The Tonic is a 12-week radio programme targeted at the older generation and was made in collaboration with KCLR and the Kilkenny Older Person’s Council. The radio programme included a mixture of songs and interviews chosen to appeal to the older generation and was presented by John Masterson every Thursday from 6-7 pm. The programme featured interviews ranging from arts to sport, storytelling, health & wellbeing and personality interviews. It also included features that recalled memories and contributors from all ages and backgrounds. Summary of Programmes: Week 1: Interviews with Paddy Cole, Saxophonist, Noelle Cody, Kilkenny Wedding Celebrant, Eddie Kerr, Legendary Kilkenny Hurler Week 2: Interviews with Jim Maher, Kilkenny Storyteller & Vivian Good, Goods Kilkenny Week 3: Interviews with Daniel O’Donnell, Singer/Songwriter and Kilkenny Librarian Majella Byrne. Week 4: Interviews with Mary Egan, ICA Member, Tom’s Jackman Local Musician, and Kasandra O’Connell from the IFI Week 5: Interviews with Noel Power and Sonny Cullen, two Kilkenny Showband members and John Travers, Musician Week 6: Interviews with Seamus Nugent from the Kilkenny Sports and Recreational Partnership and local stories from Yvonne O’Dwyer who lived above a shop on the High Street and stories from the Schools Collection with Karyn Deegan, Kilkenny Libraries Week 7: Interviews with Sean Doherty from Galmoy GAA Club and Liam Tyrell James Stephen’s GAA Club. Profile interview with Ani Mollereau a sculptor from Kilkenny Week 8: Interviews with Actor Brendan Corcoran and Actor/Director Don O’Connor. Jim Brennan from the Clubhouse Hotel in Kilkenny gave an insight to the oldest hotel in Kilkenny Week 9: Interviews with Maria Marshall, Author and Poet & Brede Murphy who was a nurse with the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dublin. Sergeant Peter McConnon joined to highlight fraud. Week 10: Interviews with Mary Butler from the ICA & Joe Dunphy from Thomastown shares some stories that feature in his new book Ramblings, which he published at the end of last year Week 11: Interviews with Frank Kavanagh of Frank’s Medieval Tours and then Roisin McQuillan of the Kilkenny Chamber. Week 12: Interviews with Ian Wilson, retired General Surgeon and founder of Carlow Kilkenny Homecare Team and Sr Stan Kennedy who has a long connection with Kilkenny Podcast Links for The Tonic

Aim of Initiative

Older People

Who is it aimed at

Older People

Steps critical to success

  1. Continous Engagement between the OPC and KCLR
  2. Encourage listeners to engage with the programme e.g. phone in to KCLR during the programme and prizes
  3. Planning and Evaluation: feedback to KCLR each week and at the end. Scope Learning outcomes for future initiatives

Challenges in Planning / Delivery

  1. Online meetings: dependant on access to the internet and skills for using technology in the older generation
  2. Time: 6-7pm clashes with the national 6pm news on the TV. An earlier time suited the older generation
  3. To encourage the ‘ordinary person’ to talk about old memories in Kilkenny live on air

Outcomes / Benefits

  1. Light – Hearted radio provided a switch-off from the difficult times for all listener’s
  2. Positive Mental Health: listening to entertainment and nostalgia by taking trips down memory lane
  3. Promotion of Healthy Ireland and Health and Wellbeing Initiatives

Janette Boran, Kilkenny County Council,