My Weekend: Cork is an amazing place to see... we just need to get out there!

ANNE MARIE Collins President of the AIB Cork Sports & Social committee tell us how she likes to spend her weekends — and her recent Five Peaks Challenge in aid of Cope.
My Weekend: Cork is an amazing place to see... we just need to get out there!

Anne Marie Collins President of the AIB Cork Sports and Social committee

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Originally from Tipperary, I came to Cork to go to college and never left. Both my parents are originally from Cork themselves (Bandon and Upton), my uncle Des, cousin Alan and their families live here… so I think/hope after 19 years of living in Cork city now, that I have been accepted as a local …..but your readers might say different.

Both my sisters have since followed me to live and work in Cork too — sure who could blame them for missing me so much — so that just leaves my brother at home helping my parents with the farm as well as working himself.

After college, I joined AIB… not going far from UCC as I started in the College Road branch of AIB. I had planned to “figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up” but after 15 years in AIB now, I have realised that I luckily and unwittily found a great job that has allowed me to work with fantastic colleagues and customers, working in a variety of branches across Cork in various diverse roles.

About eight years ago, I joined the AIB Cork Sports & Social committee and this year as president. I was delighted to partner with Cope Foundation as our charity partner for the year — it is just so unfortunate that Covid hit and we were unable to do the typical fund-raising events in-branch to raise money for Cope (bake sales, spinathons etc).

We have tried this year instead to come up with some fun virtual events instead to raise money for this really deserving charity, for example a virtual Pet Pageant that everyone involved really enjoyed.

I also recently took part in the #5peaks1week challenge for Cope, as did a number of other individuals and teams in AIB Cork — having had a back operation in January and being out of action for 13 weeks recuperating, I really wanted to do this challenge as an individual to test myself and I’m really glad I did it, whilst raising some money for a great charity.

There is still time for people to do this challenge for Cope and I would highly recommend it.

Anne Marie Collins President of the AIB Cork Sports and Social committee.
Anne Marie Collins President of the AIB Cork Sports and Social committee.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Relaxing and enjoying a glass of wine at home usually. After a long week’s work, it is nice to unwind and catch up on a few episodes of Home & Away, my not-so-guilty pleasure.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

100% lie-in! Totally a night owl! Coming from a farming background, you would think that I would be used to getting up early but I think I’m much more productive as the day goes on. I prefer to work until 7pm every day than be in work at 7am one day.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

In my current role as Head of Homes for Cork City and Cork South & West, I am really lucky to have a very committed team of mortgage advisors who give 150% every day to our mortgage customers — they do such a fantastic job that usually we don’t have to work weekends. There are times of course when a particular issue may have arisen and if it means we will get a good outcome for the customer involved, nobody minds putting in the extra time — we are dealing with lovely people who are trying to fulfil their dream of getting a new home so we are very happy to help.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Given the current pandemic and if money was no object, I might be better buying an island somewhere sunny and inviting as many people as I can to enjoy it (socially distanced of course).

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

When I completed #5peaks1week in aid of Cope recently, I was amazed at the various walking trails that I found relatively close by to me, that I had not realised where there until I had the challenge of walking 45km in a week.

Cork is an amazing city that gives back so many wonderful sights and experiences, the more you explore it.

We just need to get out there more and see what it has to offer.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Both — sometimes will head to Tipp to visit my parents, sometimes lunch or night-outs with my sisters or friends.

Always drop into the English Market on Saturdays too to get lovely fresh food for the week ahead or meats/cheeses etc for homemade tapas.

Anne Marie Collins.
Anne Marie Collins.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I love watching rugby — went to Japan last October with my siblings and our honorary brother Noel to the Rugby World Cup, which was an amazing trip.

The Irish rugby team may not have performed as well as we would have hoped but we still had a fantastic time and met lots of other Rugby fans from loads of different countries.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

When it comes to food, I like being entertained! I love going out to restaurants!

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

So many great places to eat out in Cork. For tapas, I love Tedos or Arthur Maynes.

For Italian, it is Il Padrinos and in general you can never go wrong with Market Lane or the Cornstore.

I need my coffee in the morning so Velo give me my fix and I have a range of coffee shops to choose from in the city at lunchtime.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Sunday night is wind-down time after a busy weekend, a bath and bed early is about as exciting as it gets!

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

Too early! It seems the majority of people prefer getting up early in the morning to “get a good start to the day” — I think these people are mad! I’m wrapped up in the duvet until the last possible second.

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