My Weekend: Sky’s the limit for Lee Singers’ Eibhlín

Cork Airport will host a homecoming Christmas concert in aid of Marymount University Hospice on December 12. Here airport employee and member of the Lee Singers, Eibhlín McGrath, tells us about her life, work and hobbies
My Weekend: Sky’s the limit for Lee Singers’ Eibhlín
Eibhlin McGrath.

TELL us a little bit about yourself.

I had great fun growing up in Summerstown, Wilton. I’m from a family of eight girls with two sets of twins, of which I am one.

Growing up, we were very involved in our youth club, local variety shows and choirs. Now, I’ve been living in Carrigaline for over 20 years and I love the village atmosphere that is still there.

I have enjoyed volunteering over the years with the Special Olympics; I worked in a boatyard in Thailand after the tsunami. I have trained young people in coastal rowing and I also help out in City Hall during the Choral Festival, as well as some of their concerts.

I have been working at Cork Airport for Dublin Airport Authority (daa) for over 30 years and I have had the great privilege of working in most areas of the business including retail, accounts, airside operations, and safety.

I have also worked overseas in Moscow with Aer Rianta International, Riyadh with daa international and on the seas with Swansea Cork Ferries. My current role is Regulations and Compliance Manager with oversight of a number of short-term operations and training projects.

I also get to visit other airports around the world to participate in Airport Council International (ACI) Airport Excellence Peer Reviews as a Safety and Operations expert. I’ve been to Uganda, Canada and China with this programme. This is probably one of my favourite parts of my job.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

My Friday nights vary between a quiet night in by the fire, a walk down to the village or a trip to the cinema.

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

I am definitely more of a night owl than I am a morning person, and I am usually the last to leave a party.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Now and again work does tend to creep into my weekend, depending on what projects or deadlines I am working to. However, these days I try to keep it to a minimum.

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

I love experiencing places I’ve never been before, but my favourite cities are Washington DC and Barcelona.

There’s so much to do and see in both. I would either bring my other half or I would travel with my sisters.

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

My favourite spot closer to home is Allihies on the Beara Peninsula, in West Cork. The views and beaches on the drive down are fantastic and on a sunny day you don’t need to be anywhere else in the world.

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

Four of my sisters live in Cork so we make sure we get together regularly in each other’s homes and we all try to get away together at least once a year.

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

I love photography. I’m more about capturing the photo in the moment and less about spending too much time editing on my computer. I spent many years training and racing with the Crosshaven Coastal Rowing Club. Over the years I have rowed with fantastic crews winning All-Ireland medals and at the Ocean to City Race.

I was also the Public Relations Officer for the region so I caught plenty of action photos of the races from the water. I don’t row now but I have coxed for the visiting Trinity Tide crew when they were racing in the Ocean to City Race.

The harbour is a great amenity and it is fantastic to be out on the water and be part of the harbour activity.

I have been singing with the Lee Singers for about 30 years, we take part in formal and informal settings, singing a wide range of music from classical, church and stage.

Our most recent undertaking will be the Cork Airport Christmas Homecoming Concert in aid of Marymount Hospital and Hospice. It will take place on Thursday, December 12.

There will be some wonderful entertainment on the night with many singers and musicians taking part. Tickets cost €20 which includes complimentary parking as well as a Taste of Cork reception from 7.30pm. We’re down to our last 50 tickets, so if anyone is interested they should contact the airport customer service desk.

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

I really enjoy having friends and family around to my house. I like to keep the meals simple with curries or chilli and everybody usually helps out.

For bigger occasions I get my very talented niece, Aisling, to provide the catering for us. That really takes the pressure off and I don’t have to spend all night in the kitchen.

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

I enjoy going to The Workshop near Cork Airport or Carpe Diem in Carrigaline for lunch. For dinner, I love Man Friday or The Bulman in Kinsale.

Every now and again I’ll head into the city to try out the different restaurants. I was in the Oyster Tavern and Jacobs on the Mall recently. The food was great in both and I loved the decor and history associated with them.

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

My Sunday evenings are usually spent preparing for Monday morning or sometimes with an early movie if there’s something I want to watch.

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

My Monday morning alarm goes off at 7am but I don’t get up until 7:30am. I’m not a great morning person.

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