Irish Podcast Awards 2023: Rising Star

Podcasting is about people, and this award recognises the individuals who, despite being relatively new to the podcast scene, are nonetheless making waves in the industry. Whether it’s for their innovative approach to their content or sheer dedication and grit, our judges were looking for podcasters that are set to go on to big things in the future.

Winner: Céire O'Donoghue

A voiceover artist and actor with nearly 20 years of experience, Céire O'Donoghue made the jump to podcasting during the COVID lockdown years, when she realised how little Irish content there was for younger ears. Thus, KidCast was born: a programme made by children, for children.

After completing a diploma with the Today FC School of Radio and Podcasting, O’Donoghue uploaded her first episode of KidCast in October 2021. Each episode is hosted by O’Donoghue and a different child guest, and children report news, interview guests, submit features, play interactive games, tell jokes, share facts and present riddles. The first series comprised eight 30-minute magazine-style episodes and featured 176 children in all, and a second season arrived in February 2023. 

In addition to writing, producing and presenting the shows, O’Donoghue has produced a spin-off series called KidCast School Tour, where she worked directly with eight primary schools, hosting workshops to help them produce their own mini-episodes. She also produced a handbook for primary school teachers, to help them use podcasts in the world of education.

Highly commended: Bobby Aherne

Translating his background in music to the world of podcasting, Bobby Aherne’s debut show Nero’s Class has been a resounding success - as evidenced by its win in this year’s Best family podcast category - but his ability to craft a rich and textured soundscape and narrative indicate a bright future in the medium.