Offaly Talks Podcasts

Welcome to ‘0ffaly Talks’ Podcasts.

Join us in Offaly Local Development to talk about the things in life that matter most. From Health & Wellbeing to Employment, from Parenting to walking in the Slieve Bloom mountains, we are in conversation with the people working in Offaly for the people of Offaly.

Offaly Talks is a series of thought-provoking conversations with the dedicated professionals who help support our communities and people across the county. They give us remarkable insight into the knowledge they have gained in their work about life-relevant matters and explain how their services can help us with life’s challenges. When Offaly Talks, We listen!

Hosted by

Anthony O’Prey | Health Promotion Officer |

(Mental Health Promotion & Suicide Awareness)

*Offaly Talks Podcasts are funded by Offaly Local Development Company and the HSE.


Offaly Talks - SEASON 1


Episode 1: Offaly Talks – Resilience

Offaly Talks about Resilience. With special guests, Sheila Hoctor, a Life & Business Coach with Offaly Local Development and Josephine Rigney, a HSE Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention for Laois & Offaly, we explore what resilience is, how it is built, what effects it and why it is important to help us flourish in life.


Episode 2: Offaly Talks – Empowering Women

Offaly Talks about Empowering Women. With special guests, Vanessa McGuinness, an Education and Employment Coach in Offaly Local Development and Vanessa Ferreira, a Money Mindset Coach based in the Midlands, we talk about the personal benefits to women from accessing Education and Employment Coaching. We also discuss the importance of developing good money management skills when wanting to build more independence and autonomy to feel empowered. 



Episode 3: Offaly Talks – Parenting (Part 1)

Offaly Talks about Parenting. This podcast captures an interesting and diverse conversation about parenting in modern Ireland.  With special guests, Sarah Behan, a Support Worker with Offaly Local Development who works with families across the county and Stella O’Malley, a Counsellor & Psychotherapist and Author based in Birr, we reflect on how we are we doing in our modern parenting roles compared to previous generations, what kind of challenges parents and families are experiencing and how they impact on family life and our children.

Episode 4: Offaly Talks – Adults in Education

Offaly Talks about the benefits of returning to education as an adult. With special guests Linda Hogan, Co-ordinator of a Local Training Initiative in Birr and Padraig Boland, Further Education & Training Skills Manager in the Laois Offaly Education Training Board, we explore the personal benefits of returning to education as an adult, either for career or self-development reasons. We discuss why further education matters in today’s world, what barriers people face when returning to learning as an adult and how service providers help people overcome these barriers to make the learning experience as an adult, fulfilling and rewarding.


Episode 5: Offaly Talks – Men & Money 

Offaly Talks about Men and Money. With special guests, Caroline Brickland, Co-Ordinator of MenPower; a support programme for men experiencing personal difficulties run by Offaly Local Development and Mary Errity, Co-Ordinator of Money Advise & Budgeting Service in Offaly (MABS), we discuss how money troubles can effect men, what steps men can take to adapt and adjust to personal financial struggles and how support services can help. 


Episode 6: Offaly Talks – Motherhood

Offaly Talks about Motherhood. With special guests, Amanda Caulfield, Co-ordinator of Offaly Well Connected, a Social Prescribing Service delivered by Offaly Local Development and Dolores Wrafter, Co-ordinator of Parents First, a voluntary organisation who support families with young children in Offaly, we explore the role and identity of Motherhood, the joys and challenges it brings, the changes it brings to daily living and relationships as well as the benefits of making self-care a priority.      

Episode 7: Offaly Talks – Food Glorious Food   

Offaly Talks about Food and the health and social importance of food in our lives. With special guests, Martina McLoughlin, Co-ordinator of the Step-up Project in Offaly Local Development and Darren O’Toole, Hospitality Tutor in Tullamore Community Training Centre, we discuss value of cooking skills and its’ health and social benefits in our lives. We discuss why it is important to be able to cook, why should young people learn how to cook, what does a good diet look like to a Chef and how these skills help with over-all physical and mental health.


Episode 8: Offaly Talks – Walking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains

Offaly Talks about the many different walkways and hiking tracks that have been developed and maintained by the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) and the Rural Recreation Programme. With special guests, George Digan from the Rural Social Scheme and Peter Maher, the Rural Recreation Officer, we discuss the many walkways across county Offaly as well as the physical and mental health benefits of walking in nature.


Episode 9: Offaly Talks – Positive Aging   

Offaly Talks about Positive Aging. With special guests, Declan Costello, a Community Development Worker who supports Positive Aging in Offaly and Molly Buckley, an Equality and Disability Rights Activist and community volunteer, this podcast explores the many virtues of aging and what Offaly has to offer people in retirement stage of their life. This podcast also discusses why volunteering is important and how it can help with over-all health and wellbeing as we grow older.


Episode 10: Offaly Talks – Farming & Philosophy

Offaly Talks about Farming and Philosophy. With special guest, John Moran, Co-Ordinator of the Rural Social Scheme and Counsellor Psychotherapist and Dr. James Hoctor, Philosopher and Producer & Co-Host of the Hut near the Bog Podcast, we explore how changes in farming methods have affected the profession; therefore, the Irish farmer, the differences in the modern social aspects of farming compared to previous times and the relationship between farming and mental health difficulties.


Episode 11: Offaly Talks – Parenting (Part 2)

Offaly Talks about Parenting - Part 2. This time, we talk in more detail about dealing with behaviour difficulties within the home. With special guests, Sarah Behan, a Support Worker with Offaly Local Development who works with families across the county and Deirdre Dowling from Midlands Area Parenting Partnership, this podcast explores how the principles taught on the Triple P Programme can help parents with in their parenting role. From bedtime problems to siblings fighting, we discuss the methods that can help all parents.


Episode 12: Offaly Talks – Why Thinking Matters

Offaly Talks about why our thinking matter. With special guests, Nicholas Foley, Life-planning co-ordinator with Menpower, a men’s health programme run by Offaly Local Development and Michele Baker, a Health Promotion Officer with the HSE, this podcast explores the many different ways in which we think and how thinking styles impact on our over-all quality of life. This podcast will also discuss evidence based ways to improve our thinking styles; therefore, quality of life.