'I love every minute of my time here in Cork...' so says the Principal of well-known secondary school

In our 'Person to Person' column, Principal of Coláiste Chríost Rí, Padraig Mac An Rí tells us how he loves every minute of his time here in Cork... which he decided to call home almost two decades ago
'I love every minute of my time here in Cork...' so says the Principal of well-known secondary school
Padraig Mac An Rí (Mc Aree), Principal of Coláiste Chríost Rí

Tell us about yourself;

My name is Padraig Mac An Rí (Mc Aree). Originally, I’m from County Monaghan. I was educated there in St Macartan’s College, and afterwards studied for a B. Sc in Maths and Physics in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

I taught in Trim, Co. Meath for ten years before I moved to Cork in 2001, which was when I joined Coláiste Chríost Rí, Capwell Road, as a teacher of Science, Maths and Physics.

Today, I am the Principal of Coláiste Chríost Rí and I can honestly say I love every minute of my time here in Cork.

Where were you born?

Monaghan.

Where do you live?

Newcestown.

Family.

Married to Mary. We have two sons, Dan and Dáire, and a daughter, Jenny.

Best friend?

Having lived in so many different places over the years I have made a lot of very good friends. It would be difficult to single one person out.

Earliest childhood memory?

Being at home on our farm helping my father... happy days.

Person you most admire?

Catríona Twomey of Penny Dinners — anyone who will act on their beliefs to help those less fortunate — something that resonates very strongly with our ethos in Coláiste Chríost Rí.

Person who most irritates you:

I will have to “take the fifth” on that one!

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

Tough job for anyone, but I would like to see someone who really understands finance and who is blessed with the ability, compassion and vision to channel funds to where they are really needed — education being just one of those areas.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Mexico — observing hundreds of giant sea turtles emerge from the sea and land on the beach one night in late July to dig nests and lay their eggs — it was an incredible sight.

Favourite TV programme?

Generally speaking, I like archaeology and sport programmes but, bizarrely, at the moment I am really enjoying Brooklyn 99.

Favourite radio show?

The John Creedon Show, RTÉ 1.

Your signature dish if cooking?

French toast… I know that strictly speaking it’s not a dish, but it’s a big hit in our house.

Favourite restaurant?

Monks Lane, Timoleague, or Poachers Inn, Bandon.

Last book you read?

The Battle Of The Four Courts by Michael Fewer — I have a keen interest in Irish history.

Best book you read?

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown — a heart-breaking account of the misery inflicted on an innocent people by a misguided political ideology.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Fast Car by Tracy Chapman — an all-time classic.

Favourite song?

Hakuna Matata (from The Lion King)…what a wonderful phrase — no worries!

Do you have a pet?

Sad to say our lovely golden retriever, Winnie, passed away just before Christmas.

Morning person or night owl?

Bit of both really, but I suppose I’m more of a morning person. I’m up at 6.30am to get to work bright and early… even at the weekend I like to be up early. Must have something to do with being raised on a farm.

Your proudest moment?

On a personal level, getting married to Mary and subsequently the arrival of our three children.

On a professional level, being appointed principal of such a fine school as Coláiste Chriost Rí, which was a genuine honour.

Spendthrift or saver?

I’m not at all reckless with money but I have three teenage children so saving can be a challenge!!

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

I am fortunate to live in Newcestown, a fabulous rural community and home to a dual Senior Club. Now, if I could just get the high-speed fibre broadband to come past my house…

What makes you happy?

My family. My work and my absolute belief that I will live to see Monaghan win the Sam Maguire Cup, and thoughts of Colaiste Chriost Rí at the pinnacle of GAA in Cork and Munster.

How would you like to be remembered?

Having never given it much thought really… I’m tempted to say “as a good golfer” but that might be stretching things. Maybe as a decent man who enjoyed life to the full.

What else are you up to at the moment?

Kept pretty busy with family and school but I am also involved with fundraising for my club, Newcestown GAA, and with the men’s committee of Bandon Golf Club.

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