There’s a man in Kilfenora, Co Clare who’s posted five times on Instagram and has – at time of writing – 13,000 followers. Padraig Howley told Ray D’Arcy why he’s on Instagram and what his sudden immersion in social media has meant to him and his family. Padraig’s page on Instagram is called Sing and Step with Padraig. He told Ray why he set the page up (with the help of his daughter Tara):
“The reason I’m on the journey, Ray, is I have been suffering with pain. I’m suffering with pain, probably 10 or 12 months. I have gone everywhere and tried everything and there was nothing working. So, I have MRIs done and ultrasounds done and nothing shows up. And then, you know, I just said to myself, is it my head that’s wrong? Have I any pain at all?”
When Tara told him that she’d set up an Instagram page for him, Padraig had no idea what she was talking about. He does now. The page features Padraig cooking vegan food and singing while he does so. Ray asked him to tell him what sort of song he sings:
“I could sing any song, mostly ballads, like, you know what I mean? I used to love the Clancy Brothers, so I’ve a lot of those songs, you know? I’ve a lot of The Dubliners songs and that, like, you know? I just sing away. Sometimes I don’t even know I’m singing.”
Where’s it going? Ray asks. Get rid of the pain and lose a bit of the weight, says Padraig. His Instagram page tells us that he’s “on a journey to get fit and sing a few songs along the way”. Part of Padraig’s fitness regime, prior to lockdown, was swimming, but that’s been knocked on the head – like so many other things – by the pandemic restrictions, so he has to stick to walking, cooking and singing. And sharing his cooking and singing with his 13,000 followers!
Niall Ó Sioradáin
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