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Making love on the airwaves

by Edited by Jimmy Rhatigan

RESERVE the couch and get set for a groundbreaking moment in Irish media. 

This Thursday, Beat 102-103 launches the limited radio/podcast series Let’s Talk About Gnéas* (*sex). 

This is the first ever Irish radio series on sex, featuring real Irish voices talking about real sexual experiences. 

Fed up with the ignorance and stigma surrounding sex in Ireland, Beat presenter Michelle Heffernan has embarked on a mission to start a real conversation about sex and the Irish, guiding listeners through everything from anal play to BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism, from oral sex to orgasms, and from kink to consent.

Speaking to men and women in the South East, Michelle attempts to understand where we are really at with sexual relationships and fill in the gaps in our knowledge. 

Talking openly and candidly with her peers, Michelle also meets with real Irish sex educators and journalists to facilitate greater understanding on issues such as masturbation, foreplay, oral and anal sex, and most importantly of all-consent. 

Each series combines real testimony with expert knowledge, to provide the kind of guide to sex you needed, but never received in formal education.


Speaking to Kilkenny Press Michelle Heffernan said:

“For too long, sex in Ireland has come with a warning attached. We have learned so little about this important aspect of our existence, and this ignorance can have devastating consequences-from relationship strife, to physical injury, to sexual assault. 

“It’s time we spoke openly and positively about sex, to help create the kind of atmosphere that allows intimacy to flourish.

“It was so important to me to include Irish voices in this series too, to ground this project. So many of my peers are trying to piece together information on sex from UK and US media – it’s time we had our own voices in conversations about sexual health and try to give ourselves the sexual wellness we all deserve.”

Speaking on the decision to broadcast the series, CEO of Beat 102-103 Gabrielle Cummins said:

Beat presenter Michelle Heffernan

“When Michelle approached me about this idea, I didn’t hesitate to confirm Beat would broadcast the series and I was delighted that the BAI came on board.  

“Sex education in schools has come on a lot but is still hugely limited.  This series targets anyone aged 17 and beyond. 

“Those who listen will come away with a greater understanding around important topics like consent. 


“I’m confident listeners will also feel more comfortable about exploring their own bodies’ capabilities before progressing to a healthy sexual relationship with someone else.” 

“Let’s Talk About Gnéas also includes Irish language content from bilingual broadcaster Michelle Heffernan. 

“The series not only aims to improve sex education, but to link Irish language to something real and entertaining for listeners and help them to revive the Gaeilge within them. 

“Michelle seamlessly weaves Irish words into her narration, but keeps the body of content in English, making the series perfectly accessible for all listeners, even those with no Irish at all.”

Overall, Let’s Talk About Gnéas is not just a radio series, it’s an important moment in Irish culture and society. 

This is a snapshot of real 21st century Ireland, a reflection on where we were before now, how far we have come, and the work we still need to do to break down ignorance and shame around sex. 

Let’s Talk About Gnéas is a 7-part series funded by Beat 102103 and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. 

It will air every Thursday just after 10pm on Beat 102103 April 21-June 2. All episodes will also be available to stream on beat102103.com/podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Parental advisory is recommended. Listeners are also encouraged to check out a full list of accompanying resources which will feature on the Beat website.

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