Radio star excited about return to Donegal

NATIONAL radio star Dermot Whelan is “excited to get back to Donegal” for his ‘Mind full Tour’ which takes to the stage at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny this February.

Dermot spent time in Donegal during the summer, where he enjoyed the “incredible beaches, golf courses and most of all the people.

“I just love spending time there and I can’t wait to get back,” he said.


He fondly recalled the time he spent in Donegal in his “previous life” when he used to work in film.

He spent three months filming in the Dungloe area, including Kincasslagh.

Unfortunately he never bumped into Daniel O’Donnell, but he reminisced on the time he spent in the “wonderful” Iggy’s pub.

His ‘Mind Full Tour’ kicks off in the Helix, Dublin on January 29, Dermot then heads to Donegal for his second show which takes place on February 2 at An Grianán Theatre.

The show is a live version of his best-selling book ‘Mind Full: Un-wreck your head, De-stress your life’ which offers a funny and accessible methods to managing stress.

“There must be a need for it, as the book was the biggest selling non-fiction book last year,” Dermot said speaking to the Donegal News.

“I’m not saying that to blow my own trumpet,” he laughed, “but it just shows people are ready for the information, because our world can be very stressful.”


Dermot is a certified meditation teacher who has been practising meditation for over 12 years; he trained in California with a leading corporate stress expert.

“I learnt from the ancient eastern traditions but I also learnt from a scientific approach,” he said.

Some people are in to the spiritual side of things, but others, particularly men are drawn to the science. “There is a lot of science in the last decade that can reassure people that this stuff isn’t just for monks and yogis, this is the real deal and it works for all of us,” he added.

Dermot explained how important the use of language is; his meditation teacher works alongside the San Francisco Police Department, they don’t use the word “meditation” and instead call it “tactical breathing”.

“Although it’s the same thing, it’s just couched in different language, we can call it whatever we want but the science tells us this stuff works,” he added.

Dermot explained how the book is filled with useful, every day, scientifically proven techniques that can help people manage stress, sleep better and feel a bit better through comedy.

He acknowledged that the thought of mindfulness can sometimes feel whelming for people who are looking to dip their toes in, he said a question he gets asked a lot is, “where do I start?”.

He said that same question inspired him to write his book, because he couldn’t find a book he could relate to when he was looking for a “jumping off point”.

“The live shows are a perfect jumping off point for people,” he said.

“You don’t have to change your life, you don’t have to change the way you dress or talk, you don’t have to suddenly start saying “Namaste” to the bus driver.”

Instead you can start with something simple like a 16 second meditation technique, he explained.

Most people want easy techniques to help manage their mental health, “when it comes to our physical health people know where to go if we are not feeling great- we go to a gym, a personal trainer. When it comes to our minds it can be a bit trickier knowing where to start, so that’s what the show is about.

“As strange as a mixture of comedy and meditation sounds, it is a very effective way for people to learn about their nervous system, their minds, and most importantly techniques that can really help them and if we can do it while we are laughing it is a bit more fun.”

Mental health

Dermot is visiting close to twenty counties across Ireland, he said it was very important that he brought the tour to the “far flung corners” of the country because mental health services can be particularly difficult to access in rural Ireland. He believes everyone deserves a place to start in terms of looking after their mental health.

“If I had access to these tools back in the early noughties when I was really struggling with my mental health, and explained to me why my nervous system was out of whack or why I was having a panic attack it would have made things make a lot more sense,” he added.

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