Supporting Local News

Portumna native thrilled to be broadcasting from home ground at last

By his own admission, Galway Bay FM’s latest signing has been chasing the adrenaline of live radio before he even thought of it as a career.

Garry Curran – presenter of GBFM’s Big Bay Breakfast – was a student at Portumna Community School, when there was a talent show put on by some teachers.

By Elizabeth Garner and Jim Hynes

“With no obvious talent to take part in the show, I asked if myself and a friend could present the show as a kind of wannabe Ant & Dec duo just for fun,” he recalls.

“The teachers agreed to this, and I’ve been chasing the adrenaline from that night ever since. Radio definitely scratches that itch for me now.”

The Portumna native has been scratching that itch with success for the best part of a decade now with iRadio, Radio Nova and Ireland’s Classic Hits.

After finishing his Leaving Cert in 2011, Garry gained a degree in Journalism and Media Studies in Dublin.

His first port of call was at iRadio where his talent for radio was immediately spotted; in his first year there, he won an IMRO award for best newcomer.

And now, after working stints at various national stations, he’s delighted to be presenting in his home county.

“Local radio is so important. Local people need to feel that they have a station that provides them with relevant news, relatable stories and embodies the area,” he says.

His own personality is key to his presenting style – as is his self-acknowledged quest for the spotlight!

“Just talking and being in front of the mic is where I feel most at home. Ever since I was 16, I wanted to do something like radio,” he says.

And he admits he has always been ‘a bit of an attention seeker’.

“I always enjoyed making people laugh and I never took myself too seriously. I love being around people and having a bit of fun. The word ‘class clown’ is thrown around a bit, and yes, I probably still owe my former classmates a few points on the Leaving Cert from all the distractions. I couldn’t help it… I love chatting and having a bit of craic,” he says.

Off air, his hobbies are soccer and golf, but his focus now is entirely on his new role as the first voice Galway listeners wake up to in the morning.

“The show is a fantastic platform on a brilliant station. Everyone has been so helpful, friendly, and welcoming, and I hope to bottle that energy and release it every morning,” he says.

“The beginning of the show has a feature called the Icebreakers which allows listeners to get to know me through my music choices, and I’m very proud of my playlist. The show is full of skits, entertainment and great music.

“Myself and Sarah Slevin try to put listeners in a good mood before work/school.”

He’s quick to acknowledge the support he’s had from his parents, and he admits that he has an ‘endless list’ of people who have had a positive impact on him.

“I’ve tried to take as much knowledge and experience as I can from everyone I worked with in radio. Most people are incredibly helpful, and I’ve made some great friends in the industry that I can still call on to this day,” he reveals.

“But I’d say my fiancé Isabel has the biggest impact on me these days, keeping my ego in check if nothing else!”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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