FROM one great orator to another - Pádraig O’Callaghan will address John F Kennedy’s nephew at a world forum next week.
Thanks to his brilliantly titled 60-second “Monday Motivation Paudcast” the 10-year-old from Knockainey is promoting positivity around the world.
The “Paudcast” is a weekly motivational video that features on dad Brian’s business website EcoStraws.ie. It has gone global.
Padraig, who has Down syndrome, started working on the series with his father at the beginning of lockdown last year. Brian encouraged his son to begin filming in order to keep him entertained whilst he was out of school and to develop his communication and confidence skills.
Since its appearance on national and international media channels a few weeks ago, the “Paudcast” has gone viral, with messages of encouragement coming in from all over the world.
Pádraig will appear on this evening’s RTÉ episode of Nationwide alongside mum Marie and dad Brian.
His proudest accomplishment to date as a motivational speaker will come next week, when he addresses over 200 delegates at the Special Olympics World Forum, moderated by Tim Shriver, JFK's nephew.
With that in mind, the Leader caught up with Pádraig earlier this week while he was shooting a brief introduction video at the magnificent statue of JFK in Bruff.
Pádraig feels his audience are “very happy and excited to see me” and he is 100% right. His top tips for staying safe but also upbeat currently include allowing yourself to make mistakes because “you can’t learn anything from being perfect”.
“Try and tackle those jobs you don’t want to tackle, stay home and keep busy,” said Pádraig, who is also creating awareness of Down syndrome, with particular focus on the abilities, not the disabilities.
Proud dad Brian said the response has been incredible!
“It's been an enriching journey. We've received hundreds of messages from all over the world. They keep pouring in, and it's difficult to keep up. If Pádraig's videos can offer even a glimmer of inspiration or hope, that can only be a positive thing in these trying times
“I do some volunteering for Special Olympics Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland, and their optimistic mental mindset mantra is very, very important, which is how we came up with the ‘Monday Motivation Paudcast’,” said Brian.
As all parents know, it has been very challenging for children during lockdown.
“We found it was a way of keeping him entertained, keeping him out of trouble and we got to spend more time together,” explained Brian, who has focused on his business from home since losing his job in aviation last year.
“We have had agencies call us asking if we wished to progress it commercially, but that’s not why we do it,” he said.
To see and hear more from Pádraig, click here.