The O'Connor Show Hosts


Our visit from Margo was such a thrill!  What a lady, and a pleasure to interview.
Pictured here (L to R), Margaret O'Connor, Breege Looney, Margo O'Donnell, Siobhainn O'Connor
Taken in our studio, October 2011.

Breege (Bridget) Looney

posted Feb 15, 2012, 7:19 PM by Siobhainn O'Connor   [ updated Jul 14, 2020, 12:34 PM ]

Bridget here visiting with Margo in the studio, October, 2011 



Bridget Ellen Looney, fondly referred to as "Breege" hails from Belmullet, Co. Mayo. She is one of seven children.  The very same night Bridget arrived in Chicago she would meet her future husband; Tom Looney.  Bridget and Tom have four grown children and six grandchildren (so far).  They owned The Abbey Pub, a longtime sponsor of The O'Connor Show.  
Around 1987, Bridget arrived in the studio to promote one of the many events she and Tom were involved in.  The story goes that Mike needed some help answering telephone calls, so he asked Bridget if she wouldn't mind.  After the program was through for the day, he asked if she thought she might like to come back and help out.  That was many years ago and Breege is still answering the phones!  She loves to chat (yes, we all do), and always has news.  We are so grateful to her for all the help she has generously given us through the years.  Bridget came on board with media experience; she and Tom had a cable program for a number of years which gave the current news in Ireland, including sports, and had entertainment as well.  
When asked about her proudest accomplishment, after naming off all of her children and grandchildren, Bridget will tell you it was being nominated and winning "Erris Exile of the Year".  Here is the description as given by the official Mayo website: 
"The 'Erris Exile of the Year Award' is open to persons born in Erris and who are now resident outside of Ireland, who have distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement whether through charitable, philanthropic or sporting endeavors, or notable commitment to the place of their birth."
Much deserved.  Congratulations, Bridget.
Here is Bridget with one of her favorite people, boxer Henry Coyle.  He comes from around Bridget's place in Mayo. 

Margaret O'Connor

posted Feb 15, 2012, 2:10 PM by Siobhainn O'Connor   [ updated Aug 18, 2022, 6:26 AM ]

Margaret O'Connor has been involved in the Mike O'Connor Show from day one.  From the beginning, it was her support that made the show what it is today.  Margaret has done it all; from wiping the vinyl records to hosting the show during Mike's annual trips to Ireland.    Margaret was born and raised in Kiltulla, Co. Galway, Ireland.  She is the eldest of five.  Her parents John and Mary Ellen (Finnegan) Whyte were primarily dairy farmers.  They kept ducks and hens and a few odd sheep. Her home included her parents, siblings, her grandmother "Ma Whyte" and her tyrannical Aunt Maggie.  She attended school in Athenry, Galway.  She completed her leaving certificate (5 honors) and left Ireland to go to her Uncle Tom Whyte in Boston.  It was there she met and married Mike O'Connor.  She & Mike lived in Boston, New Orleans & settled in Chicago.  She raised three children, has nine grandchildren, and was Mike's full-time caregiver.  She worked full-time and retired at 79.
Her wit is legendary, her impatience

 Wedding day, April 1962




























for insincerity renowned, and her humor is quick &sharp. 
She describes herself as a "tough Galway woman".  A bit of trivia: she attends Mass daily, bakes the best Irish Bread (soda bread) on the planet, feeds the hungry, and would offer you her coat on a minus zero day if she felt you needed more than her.   She will also offer to take you down a peg or two if you need it, so mind your tongue.
Mary Ellen and John Whyte (holding John Jr), Ma Whyte and
Marion (it's only in Chicago she's Margaret) Whyte.  About 2 years old.
She kept the crazy curly hair, but lost the blonde.
 December 2011
 Mary McSweeney
stopped in for a visit and a chat
on the air.
(L to R)
Margaret, Siobhainn, Mary

Siobhainn O'Connor

posted Oct 21, 2009, 8:58 AM by Siobhainn O'Connor   [ updated Aug 18, 2022, 6:42 AM ]

Growing up in the O'Connor house, the radio show was a constant in our lives.  We all helped out on the odd occasion. It was a member of the family.  It required constant attention, sometimes it needed extra help, and frankly, sometimes it was just a huge pain in the rear.    
Siobhainn became a permanent fixture on the The Mike O'Connor Show in 1991.   She was booted straight into the fire.  She read whatever was thrown at her; local events, Benefit announcements,  commercials and more.  She was sent running to the locker to find requested music and missing announcements.  It wasn't long before her responsibilities increased.    At the urging of her father, she started selling air time and managing guests during the program.  Mike was oh, so thrilled, and encouraged her to take on more and more.  He felt free to take Saturdays off whenever he desired-but always listened very closely to the show.  There was always a critique ready for his daughter at the end of each program.  Eventually, Siobhainn took over all the duties of the program when Mike became too ill to continue.  But Mike O'Connor's interest never waned; every Saturday afternoon he would inquire after the program-who was there, what happened, what was said-even after his mental abilities failed in so many other areas.
He was absolutely delighted and pleased that the legacy he created continues.
Above is a photo of the Celtic Tenors in our studio.  Siobhainn is the pleased looking one in the middle.  They were an absolute riot to interview, and they sang us a few songs, too!
(L to R), James Nelson, Matthew Gilsenan(rear), Siobhainn, and Niall Morris
This is a favorite photo.  Grandfather, John(Jack) Whyte. He allowed us to ride on top of the hay with my Uncle Johnny.  It was such a thrill!  Note the enormous draft horse-my mother says they were all named "Fanny".
This shot was taken sometime in the 70's. We spent summers in Ireland with my grandparents.
The Drovers stopped into the studio before their reunion concert and played a few tunes.
 The 2014 St. Pat's Parade Queen!



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