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Karen Bies

2018-06-29 15:50 — Dublin, Ireland

Belmullet #2 Chatterbox

In Áras Inis Gluaire in Belmullet there is a radio studio. Erris FM broadcasts every Friday and Saturday. There’s a program called Chatterbox: four young people talk about different topics and playing some pieces of music, Tony says who is the technician. He fades the microphones and decides how long the program lasts. But he doesn’t interfere the talking.

These young people are with 'Jobstart', a course with the National Learning Network. In the Erris region it is the same problem as in the north of the Netherlands: not much work. Factories are a one hour drive from Belmullet. At Jobstart young people who need extra support get a course, they learn practical skills and builds confidence. A year ago they didn’t believe they would be on a radio program, Tony says. Chatterbox is theirs, they decide what’s interesting to discuss.

I visited the studio where I met Rebecca, John, David and Declan. Rebecca asked me to join them, because there was a chair and a microphone left, as Declan doesn’t want to be on radio.

It was good. They didn’t talk about the few opportunities or unemployment. David told about the medal he had won in a running competition. Rebecca wants to go to make-up school after the summer. John told some story I didn’t quite understand but never mind, David en Rebecca were laughing a lot. We listened to the music of Blur, the Manic Streat Preachers and Little Richard (they picked them out themselves, Tony told me).

They asked me what I was doing in Belmullet - well, I kept that story as short as possible. We talked about other topics, like Rebecca’s favorite actor (Nicolas Cage), her favorite film (Left behind, with Nicolas Cage) and the best singer ever, according to David (Freddy Mercury). Declan took a picture and then it was finished.

Chatterbox is a radio program of and for young people without interference from others. Perhaps an idea foar Omrop Fryslân, I would think. A revival of Radio 18!