Maria is inspired by her guests on Liffey Sound

The South Dublin County Volunteer Centre, in partnership with South Dublin County Council, is running a campaign called Stories from the Frontline in recognition of all those who volunteered or are still volunteering during COVID-19

This is volunteer Maria Murphy’s story...

My name is Maria Murphy, I live in Hillcrest in Lucan and I’m a presenter with Liffey Sound FM. 

Liffey Sound is a Community Radio Station and I and my fellow presenters are all volunteers.

stories from the Fronlint Maria Murphy 1 1

Maria Murphy

Volunteering as a radio presenter with Liffey Sound during Covid-19 has meant mastering Zoom and working from home, the back bedroom to be precise. 

Radio studios are intimate, enclosed conversation hubs and not conducive to 2 metre distancing or mask wearing when faced with a mic. 

The mic’s aim is to amplify your voice so that it’s tone is clear for broadcast. 

On 13 March 2020 we received this message from the Liffey Sound Board: “There will be no access to the Liffey Sound Studio for Volunteers until Covid-19 restrictions are lifted”.

 I, like my colleagues, had to re-imagine how to present our radio programmes.

The outcome was Zoom, which enabled our radio station to remain on air.

 Liffey Sound’s licence is to provide a radio service for each day of the year, so the Zoom Boom took on a whole new meaning for me. 

I became a 2020 Zoom Recruit to answer Liffey Sound’s call. 

To date I have presented two weekly Lucan Live programmes (Monday and Wednesday) since March, in my reckoning that amounts to 54 hours of broadcasting.

What a pleasure it has been, my logbook records over 150 guests from all walks of life each with a story to tell.

I’ve laughed and I’ve cried, I’ve been educated and entertained, I’ve brought the stories of, among others, Jigsaw, GROW Mental Health Services, Cancer Support Service providers, Cycle against Suicide, the HOPE foundation, Pavee Point, World Vision Ireland to  Liffey Sound Listeners.

Not forgetting, Bird Watch Ireland’s request for listeners to record the sighting of Swifts in the south Dublin area.

I virtually visited Austria, Sardinia, England, Cork, Mayo, Roscommon and Wexford. 

However, the majority of my guests were resident in South Dublin County. I was inspired by all my guests, my youngest being Eva Norton who sang to the accompaniment of her mum Frances, it was blissful listening to Eva’s soulful rendition of Somewhere over the Rainbow.

We also had the Sea of Change Choir: a group of cancer survivors who got together to sing and raise awareness of cancer and Generation-Tech, volunteers who help older people in our communities with free over the phone help on IT or technical issues.

Covid-19 has been a difficult time for all of us, however I have gained positivity and strength from the inspiring work of my guests, their selfless attitude and actions in helping their communities on a daily basis.

Visit www.volunteersouthdublin.ie for more.

In another initiative, the South Dublin County Volunteer Centre compiled a Roll of Honour with the names of people who have volunteered, and continue to volunteer, across local communities. View the Roll of Honour HERE.

The stories published on the volunteer centre’s website, will also feature in a weekly series in The Echo

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

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