A Huge well done to YAP Young Person Martin from Portlaoise who was the winner of our short story competition winner over the summer. Below is a video of martin explaining the background to his story!

MEETING MY IDOL: By Martin Redmond

My day started off not so good, I went to school as usual and a few boys started annoying me calling out my name, laughing at me and running away. I was bullied when I was younger in school so this really annoyed me and upset me, I’m so sick of these people and they make me hate going to school, I tried my best to ignore it but it got to me inside.

When I got home my youth advocate oral was there with my Mam. We spoke about what happened I felt angry and hopeless, my advocate told me to pay no heed as bullies usually don’t like themselves so they usually try bullying others to make them like themselves. I was still worked up, fidgety, sad as I find it hard sometimes to communicate like others due to Asperger’s. My advocate suggested we go for ice cream, when we came out of the shop the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day so Orla suggested sitting on a wall across the way, just randomly sitting there I spotted a woman that is the mother of the actor Robert Sheehan, Orla knew her too as she is local.

Robert stars on “Misfits, Love and Hate and the Umbrella Academy which I just finished watching. I am a huge fan and my Mam loves him too so we were just discussing how great a fan I was and getting into car when I looked back and low and behold who walked out of the shop only Robert. I have to say I nearly died there on the spot .I was star stuck, my heart was beating 90 and I was sweating. I couldn’t get the words out, I was like “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD”, Orla said let’s go ask him for a picture I could only nod as I had no words and was trying to compose myself. He was on the phone and we didn’t like to jump in on him, but he looked like he was getting back into the car, so we said we would ask his mum as she was still outside. We asked and she said into him Robert “a fan would like to meet you” He looked at us and said “sorry guys I’m on the phone do you mind” I was thinking oh no he obviously too busy and annoyed we interrupted (idol dreams over for me) but he hadn’t finished his sentence “do you mind giving me two minutes on the phone and I’ll be with you” what an absolute legend.

He finished up and was so nice posing for pictures, chatting asking me questions I told him I’m writing movies and love drama. He totally engaged telling me to hold that and never change and keep it up and be who you want to be. This is just what I needed to hear after the incident I had earlier… do you listen to bullies or an absolute star. I know know who to listen to, my idol of course.

This was just what I needed to hear, it lifted me up and gave me confidence and a huge smile I couldn’t get rid of for hours later, even now. No one can take that away from me. I can be whomever I want to be, bullies can’t ever win.