The Anton Savage Show – Ciaran overcame a stutter & is now helping others.

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Oscar-winning film raising awareness of stutters and stammers

With the recent Oscar success of the Irish short film ‘Stutterer’, listener Ciaran McGonagle got in touch in the hope that people who have a stutter know there is help available.

He dropped into the studio to talk to Anton about overcoming his stutter and how he is now helping others overcome theirs.

Have a listen here:

Ciaran overcame a stutter and is now helping others
Show: The Anton Savage Show
With the recent Oscar success of the Irish short film STUTTERER, Ciaran McGonagle got in touch in the hope that people who have a stutter know there is help available.

After we featured a couple of interviews with Oscar-winning Irish film-maker Benjamin Cleary about his short film ‘Stutterer’, Ciaran sent us an email:

“Hi Anton, I began to stutter at around the age of 4. I was quite ‘overt’, meaning it was quite pronounced up until my teenage years when I started to try to cover up my stutter. I learned tricks and techniques that aided me in hiding who I really was.

These techniques, however, only really worked in certain situations and when the pressure was on my speech would fall apart and my confidence would take a severe blow.

I continued to hide my stutter from everyone, including myself, until my early twenties when I realized that I really had to address the problem. It was causing huge frustrations in my career and personal life.”

Ciaran went on to describe how he overcame his stutter…
A still from the Oscar-winning Stutterer by Benjamin Cleary

He tells Anton how he grew up in Donegal and for as long as he can remember he’s had a stutter. He was what you’d call ‘OVERT’ – it was obvious for all to hear. He remained OVERT until his teenage years – when he became self-conscious of his stutter, becoming COVERT, using techniques to hide his stutter. He tells Anton having a stutter was like an ice-berg – 10% of the problem is the physical stutter – 90% is an emotional struggle.

In 2006, aged 26, he rang Joe O’Donnell in The McGuire Programme but it took two years to pluck up the courage to attend his first class.

It worked, and Ciaran now helps others to overcome their stutters.

He reveals that 90% of stutterers can’t say their own name and the cause of a stutter is unknown – it could be a traumatic experience or illness. The McGuire Programme has around 9,000 members worldwide and 1,500 in Ireland alone.

You can contact the McGuire Programme through

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