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The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Heroic Bedtime Story Soldier Dad!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Eithne, what gave Emmet the idea?
One of his friends was serving in Kosovo and he told Emmet that he was doing this for his children and Emmet thought that it was a great idea, so that is how it started really.

How did Emmet do the recordings?
He recorded it on the camcorder before he left. Emmet has actually served one tour of duty before in Chad about a year and a half ago, but that was only for 8 weeks. Before he left for the last tour he recorded 40 minutes of the tape. He recorded the rest of it, which is about two and a half hours in total, before he left for this tour.

How do the children enjoy it?
It is unbelievable for them.. They really enjoy it. they watch it in a special play room at 7:00 every evening and they have their own special seats - it is like a cinema for them! They all sit up and watch their daddy telling the stories.

Is he (Emmet) a good story teller?
Yes, he shows them the pictures and everything.. He picked up books on a range of different stories, from Aladdin to Cinderella, to a range of other stories. At the end of each story, he tells the children they have to be good now and go to bed after they have heard the story.. He also tells them to sit down and to do what their mummy tells them..

Does Daniel know what is happening when he watches his dad on the telly?
Well, he hears his voice on the television and he thinks where is his daddy.. He wonders where he is - he doesn't really understand. The older girls know that he is away and what it is all about and they really look forward to the stories. I also tell them that if they are bold, then they will not get to listen to their daddy telling stories tonight!

Do you speak to Emmet every evening?
I speak to him every second or third day - he is trying to get a phone sorted out, and he hopes to have that done soon. there are 200 soldiers over with him on the trip and they only have 160 SIM cards, but he hopes to get one ( a SIM card) soon..

I hear that you and Emmet were childhood sweet hearts and that you started going out when you both were in first year of secondary school?
Yes, we are from the Lucan area, and we went to the same school and we have been together since we were in first year of secondary school - we are childhood sweethearts! Now we live in Mountnugent, Co Cavan.

Will you be getting a Valentines card in the post from him next week?
I better or else he will be in trouble. He will also be sending on some cards for the girls birthday's. He will miss Jessica's birthday which is in two weeks time, but he will be sending on the card..

Is their a danger that Emmet will now be getting a slagging from the other soldiers on the trip because he is on the Afternoon Show - will they be asking him to read them a bedtime story?!?
Yes, I'd say they he will definitely be getting some slagging..

Are you worried about Emmet being away in Chad?
Well, he is an engineer and is based on site, and he is not on patrol 3 or 4 nights a week like other out there, so that is a help. But I do worry sometimes when he is away.