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2005-08-30 Louise Heraghty

Ever had one of those years when everything clicks into place? A few years ago, the Queen declared to the world that she had suffered an annus horribilis - but what is the opposite? Whatever it is, in 2005 Louise Heraghty has had one.

 

The second youngest of Tony and Peggy Heraghtys six children, Louise grew up, like myself, in Cartron. A big Westlife and Rovers fan, Louise was educated at the Mercy in the 1990s, relishing her time there, in particular as Head Girl in her final year. Thanks to the enthusiasm and drive of Anne Gorby and others, Louise has kept in regular contact with her Alma Mater, returning frequently, most notably to host Fashion Shows in aid of the new gym.

A Sligowoman through and through, Louise loves her times at home, enjoying a coffee at Grappa, or something stronger nextdoor in Fiddlers, going Italian with friends in Bianconis Bistro, walking with her family in tranquil Slish, or simply taking in the comforting sight of Benbulben as she drives down Pearse Road on the homeward stretch. In March, Louise co-presented the Mercy Fashion Show with Ocean FMs Mike Moloney at the Radisson Hotel. In the same month, the Mercy Transition Year students recorded a show for 2FM, interviewing Shane Filan, Tabby and Louise.

Louise had come a long way since appearing, at the age of 11, with her best pal Elaine Gordon (another Sligo media-enthusiast) on Den TVs Yes/No Game-show with Ray Darcy. Louise was always outgoing and gregarious, appearing in several of Mary McDonaghs musicals at the Hawks Well, and even as a somewhat illegal member of the Ballytivnan Boy Scouts! Already her interest in media and broadcasting was being nurtured, as Louise naturally accumulated her people skills. After her Leaving, Louise moved to Waterford DIT to study Multimedia. There, she discovered her true passion for radio, her all-time hero being the ultimate old pro Larry Gogan.

Louise was a founder member of the (now defunct) Vibe FM in Waterford, where she worked as researcher, newsreader and general all-rounder. For the ever-keen 19 year-old, this was a dream gig. Louise went on to present her own lunchtime show, playing a diverse musical mix, with perhaps a leaning towards the Irish contemporary repertoire. Louise attended live gigs, interviewing bands such as Aslan and Relish. In her Current Affairs slot, she got to interview a variety of big media names, including RTEs Charlie Bird. On her 20th birthday, Louise was asked to interview the laid-back, but undoubtedly opinionated Bob Geldof, who was more than happy to chat to Louise for almost half an hour, though Sir Bob and Louise had to agree to disagree on the merits of boy-bands and rappers. Louise moved on to Waterford Local Radio to take part in a broadcasting course, using every opportunity to get behind the mike.

She sent a demo-CD to AA Roadwatch, and before long Louise was delivering traffic reports on national radio, next to Ronan Collins, Maxi, and on 5/7 Live. Along with Nicola Hudson, Emma Caulfield, Lisa Armstrong, and Louises dear friend, the affable Eric Keogh, Louise Heraghty soon became a household name in Ireland, as she let us know which bottle-necks to avoid on our nations roads. Perhaps John Cahenys inspired and enjoyable Geography classes at the Mercy had stimulated Louises knowledge of the national routes. The early morning starts proved difficult at times, but Louises natural facility for on-air banter proved to be one of the many rewards of her new post. A true goalsetter, Louise had always intended to restrict her time at Roadwatch to just two years, and so began to dispatch another batch of demo-CDs. One of Dublins most popular radio stations - 98FM - immediately picked up on the 23 year-olds broadcasting gifts, recently offering Louise her own show from 1am til 6am  weekdays  which she and her listeners are enjoying thoroughly.

But Louise has more than just a good face for radio. Now she has her sights set on TV, perhaps an entertainment or fashion show. In July, a party of 60 from Sligo travelled to the Irish College in Rome to witness the marriage of Louises sister Antoinette. The ceremony was performed by Fr. Eddie Moore. Being bridesmaid at her sisters wedding in Rome was the icing on the cake in what has truly been Louise Heraghtys annus fabulus!