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Two Norries to meet Michael D

Wednesday, 7th October, 2020 2:55pm

“When we started out, we had a hitlist of people that we wanted to interview, and on the top of the list was President Higgins.”

The excited words of Leesider James Leonard, one half of Cork podcasting duo ‘The Two Norries’, whose dream to meet the President is about to come true.

Tackling issues like addiction and mental health, the podcast has taken the country by storm since it began during the lockdown.

Now, four months and 11 episodes later, James and his podcasting partner Timmy Long have been invited up the road for dinner with the one and only President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.

“He invited us up to Dublin to the Áras for dinner. We were supposed to go up in September but Dublin went into lockdown,” said James.

He added: “After that there are no limits on our guests for podcasts. I approach people and, you know what, they're happy to come in because they're passionate about it and I'm passionate about it too.”

Born in Dublin, James moved to Cork when he was a baby and grew up in the city where he witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of addiction.

“It's hard to say whether it's better or worse here today. I think it has just remained constant. I think the biggest difference is that, when I was younger, there was no heroin, whereas there is today,” said James, who himself is a recovering heroin addict.

James continued: “There's a saying in recovery, 'we only keep what we have by giving it away'. This (podcast) is our way of giving it away.”

Looking forward, and buoyed by the President’s invite, James said he and Timmy will continue to do the podcast and that he would love to interview leading addiction expert, Gabor Maté.

Maté is a Hungarian-born physician now based in Vancouver who believes that the source of addictions is not to be found in genes, but in the early childhood environment.

Listeners of ‘The Two Norries’ podcast might recognise James from his appearance on ‘The Tommy Tiernan Show’ earlier in the year when he spoke of his own struggles with addiction and his road to recovery.

Following the appearance James was contacted by hundreds of people seeking help and advice regarding addiction.

This inspired him to start ‘The Two Norries’ podcast, which was an immediate hit with local and national audiences.

Speaking about his encounter with famed comedian Tommy Tiernan, James said the joker was a gent and a “very humble man. He was smaller than I thought he’d be. He came back and sat with my mother and my wife and then drove back to Galway after the show,” said James.

James and Timmy will travel to Dublin to meet President Higgins as soon as restrictions allow. In the meantime, they are about to kick off the second season of their podcast which can be found on most streaming platforms. For more info visit thetwonorriespodcast.com.

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