Newbridge media student makes Vatican history

Michael Gannon meeting Pope Francis in Rome recently.

Michael Gannon meeting Pope Francis in Rome recently.

A young Newbridge man has become the first ever person with Down Syndrome to do an internship at any Vatican office.

Michael Gannon, who had an audience with Pope Francis last week, has just started as an intern at Vatican Radio in Rome as part of their English Progamme.

Michael, from College Park, said his aim for his first week in Rome was to work hard and find out more about himself.

“I am a very hard worker myself. And I keep very busy in what I do. I would like to share some of my experience with everyone here in work: life can be easy, life can be full of the joys of spring with friends and family. That is all I want in life and nothing more than that.”

As a student in NUI Maynooth, his two-week internship at Vatican Radio will earn him credits for his media degree.

Along side Michael’s interests in writing and reporting, he is also a member of the Adult Advisory Committe of Down Syndrome Ireland and a prominent member of St Conleth’s Panotomine Troupe.

According to the Vatican’s Press Officer Linda Bordoni Michael had an opportunity to meet with Pope Francis.

“He is in St. Peter’s Square for the General Audience and has just had the chance to shake Pope Francis’ hand,” she said speaking to the Leinster Leader on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Michael described his first morning at Vatican Radio as most interesting, adding that he was given a tour around the radio station to see how radio works.

“I was also introduced to different people who work in different stages of radio,” he said. “My work friends with me are very nice to be with and wonderful to work with. I hope in my two weeks here in Rome to get to know them well.”




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