It's Your Right: Ellen O'Mahony and Carla Ryan - Friendship, Songwriting and the Right to Express yourself

Jun 20, 2014, 11:14 AM

Ellen (17) and Carla (17), writers and singers of 'Shield', the official theme song for the It's Your Right campaign, sat down with us to talk about their friendship, their songwriting and their views on Children's Rights. Both girls live in Dunboyne, Co. Meath and have just finished 5th year in St. Peter's College there. Ellen plays piano, guitar and clarinet as well as singing, and Carla plays guitar, sings and has a huge passion for musical theatre. Both girls credit their fathers as huge musical influences in their lives. Since discovering their joint talent for songwriting two years ago, and the duo have released an EP called 'Floods' on iTunes, and continue to write songs together in their spare time. The right to expression is extremely important to both of them, as they use their songs to release any emotions and tell the stories of their lives, or the lives of those around them. Listen to what they had to say.

Accompanying Music: 'Shield - Piano Instrumental' by Ellen and Carla


Below is a transcript of Carla & Ellen.



Ellen O’ Mahony; My name is Ellen O’ Mahony, I’m 17 years old, I go to St Peters College in Dunboyne.

Carla Ryan; I’m Carla Ryan, I’m 17, I go to St Peters College in Dunboyne.

Ellen; I’ve always been very interested in music. I played piano since I was 6 or 7 and recently I’ve started playing a few other instruments.


Ellen; I play guitar, not very well admittedly, but I play guitar and clarinet and then around 2 years ago I started singing and songwriting with Carla. But I do other things as well, like I play soccer and I do some drama and stuff like that.

Carla; Well like Ellen, I love music, I love musical theatre and I have a huge interest in drama and acting and kind of performing, musical style but then I also really love sitting, playing guitar and kind of writing songs with Ellen.


Carla; I’d always known Ellen cos we’d always been in the same year from Primary School. Then in 3rd Year, we sat beside each other we kind of started talking...I found out Ellen loved music and she found out I loved music and it kind of just blossomed from there and the rest is kinda history really.

Ellen; Carla is an amazing person, I’m not just saying that I promise. And I think one thing that struck us both is we both have such similar interests, we’re almost surprised that we weren’t friends before that.


Ellen; Me and Carla, I think we both bring different things so that’s why we work so well together because when we’re writing a song, we normally do start them separately because the songs might come to us when we’re not together, when we’re just playing piano or whatever by ourselves and then we’d come together with our ideas.

Carla; So say I’ve written a verse and a chorus and I can’t finish it, Ellen will probably help me try and think of a couple more verses or bridges to add to the song


Carla; and likewise, if Ellen has stuff and she can’t finish it then I’ll help her with that.

Ellen; We began writing songs about 2 years ago and and we had our YouTube channel but we only did covers starting out, but now we’ve an EP which we’ve recorded and we have it on iTunes and we got such a great response. And I think when people tell you they like something you’ve made, it’s such a big boost and you just want to do more and you want to put out more and more songs.


Carla; I would say that ‘Dreamer’ has a special place in my heart, maybe cos it’s the first song I wrote and it’s quite important to me but ‘Shield’, it’s just, there’s just something about it that, I really am very proud of it. I really love the meaning of the song, I think if you’re ever going through a rough time or even if, especially a teenager something tiny might happen and you ...