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'Directly affected' Broadcaster Adrian Kennedy says radio 'saved' him from bullying

The journalist and radio presenter was speaking as part of Newstalk’s Standing Up to Bullying campaign.

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Adrian Kennedy

Adrian Kennedy

Adrian Kennedy

Broadcaster Adrian Kennedy has opened up about how radio “saved” him when he was bullied in school.

The journalist and radio presenter was speaking as part of Newstalk’s Standing Up to Bullying campaign on Lunchtime Live today.

On the show, Adrian told listeners about the “constant” bullying he endured as a teenager.

“Bullying is something I’ve often spoken about. It’s something that has directly affected me when I was a teenager,” he explained.

“I was very badly bullied when I was in secondary school to the point where I hated secondary school. I couldn’t wait to get out of secondary school. I dreaded going into school every day for five years.

“It was constant. It wasn’t necessarily physical bullying but it was emotional bullying to the point that during my teenage years, I’d come home from school and I’d spend hours on end in my bedroom on my own because I just wanted that peace and solitude... I just wanted out."

Adrian said that he hated his time in school so much that he never went on to attend college for fear that the bullying would follow him.

However, he believes that bullying “directly impacted” his career progression as he decided to pick up radio at the weekends as an escape.

He said: “I did find this little thing called radio. Radio really saved me from myself. I got involved in a small radio station in Bray, Co. Wicklow and that was a whole new outlet for me in terms of people, nicer people, with no bullying.

“While I was in school, I had this double life. I had a life of being bullied in school and then an escape on a Saturday while I was still in school by doing a little radio show out in Bray.”

Adrian also warned of how bullying can affect people and admitted that he still lacks confidence all these years later.

“It still affects me to this day... To this day, I lack an awful lot of self confidence.

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“I’ve been fairly successful in my radio career over the years but always with this constant underlying theme of a lack of confidence, even though I know I’m fairly good at what I do.

“I’m in my 50s now and it’s still there. I still lack confidence.

“It isn’t just something that affects kids when they’re at school. It’s something that can stay with them for their entire lives,” he concluded.

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