Whilst on assignment with AIB overseas in Jersey I met my wife Irene, a Clare woman. Our son Robert was born while we lived in the Isle of Man and our daughter Katie was born after we returned to Cork having spent 12 years on various international assignments with the Bank.
I am told that I was only a few weeks old when I had my first outing on Cork Harbour.
While I have no recollection of this event, it certainly stamped its DNA into my very fibre and created a love for sailing and of Cork Harbour, which I have had now for more than 50 years.
However, it’s fair to say that sailing is in my blood and both my mother and father’s families were heavily involved in boating of one shape or another.
I was therefore delighted to take up the position as Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club this year, in what is the most significant year for the Club in our lifetime.
The Royal Cork, which is celebrating its 300th birthday, is the oldest yacht club in the world, which is an incredible feat. To mark the occasion, we had planned a phenomenal series of events across Cork Harbour this summer, under the umbrella title Cork300, which I’m Chairman of.
As you can imagine, a lot of weekends over the past year or two were spent on this. Unfortunately, we had to cancel many of the larger high profile international events, such as The Great Gathering, the Powerboat Festival, and Volvo Cork Week, which were set to attract thousands of sailors and competitors from around the globe, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, I’m delighted to say that a number of events have now been rescheduled to take place from this month following the publication of the Government Road Map for reopening society.
I’m really looking forward to events like the Tricentenary Regatta, the Maritime Parade in Cork Harbour, a RCYC Exhibition at the Sirius Arts Centre, a Family Race to and from Cork city, and several National Championship races.
My day job is branch manager of AIB in Cobh, so I’m delighted some of the events are taking place there. In fact, Cobh was the original home of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
AIB has also been incredibly supportive – they are the main sponsors for the events series and it wouldn’t have been possible for me to take on such a demanding voluntary role without the huge level of time and support that I was granted.