Great to be involved in one of the largest arts festivals

Lecturer at CIT Cork School of Music, Mary Mulcahy talks about Feis 2018, childhood memories and a 100 year old family recipe
Great to be involved in one of the largest arts festivals

TEACHING THE STARS: Mary Mulcahy with her former student, Michael Fassbender, at the IFTAs. Michael was a drama student of Mary’s at CSN Firkin Crane from 1995 to 1996

TELL us about yourself;

I am a lecturer of Singing, Drama & Theatre Studies at CITCSM and, in Gilbert & Sullivan terms, I have attained my years of discretion!

They say that variety is the spice of life and I am fortunate to have had lots of variety throughout my career to date. I have been a London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) examiner for more than a decade. Other very rewarding work in education includes being Programmes Co-ordinator at MMC.

As a former RTÉ television and radio presenter, and as a professional adjudicator, actor, singer and director, the arts and education are of particular interest to me. I really enjoy attending community theatre performances, professional and amateur events. The standard is consistently high.

We are privileged to have such a vibrant theatre and arts scene in Cork city and county and we should support it as much as possible.

While a student at UCC in 1989, I was also part of the group to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest hosted in Lausanne, Switzerland.

One of the most rewarding experiences is being a member of the Feis Maitiu Corcaigh Advisory Board. I’m very much looking forward to the Feis, which opened on January 29 and continues until March 24.

This is the 92nd year of the Feis, which is one is the largest arts festivals in the world. It’s wonderful entertainment, with something to suit everyone. From instrumental music to drama, opera, musical theatre and traditional Irish events. I hope to attend as many classes in as many disciplines as possible.

Where were you born?

Bon Secours Hospital, Cork.

Where do you live?


Family? I’m married to Carbry and we have three children.

Best friend? I won’t single anyone out! There are four people who fall into this category. I met them at different stages of my life, Primary School, Secondary School, UCC and at work and we’re still the best of friends!

Earliest childhood memory?

It was summer, I was about three or four and had to go to bed early. The sun still shone in the sky and I could hear the older children playing outside. Suddenly, there was the sound of a bagpiper practising The Kerry Dances. I had never heard anything like it before. I thought it was magical!

Mary Mulcahy with her family, from left, son Liam, husband Carbry in the background and daughters Graceand Hannah.
Mary Mulcahy with her family, from left, son Liam, husband Carbry in the background and daughters Graceand Hannah.

Person you most admire?

Not any one person in particular, but I admire all those unsung heroes, who give of their time and skills to make the lives of others better. We have many such people in Cork.

People who most irritate you?


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

Ideally, a non- politician, with relevant qualifications and a proven track record in financial management. Someone with a social conscience, who would prioritise those most in need.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

As a child, at sunny Owenahincha! Usually we holidayed in the ‘Sunny South East’… in the rain! It seemed to follow us, so we’d remain indoors watching the showjumping on TV, whilst huddled around an electric fire.

One summer, we headed West and had wonderful weather — the sand was too hot to stand on barefoot. Just when we thought we’d given it the slip, the rain found us again the following year!

Favourite TV programme?

Feud — I want to deliver one-liners like Bette Davis!

Favourite radio show?

96fm The Arts House — with Elmarie and Conor, Evelyn Grant on Lyric FM and Marian Finucane on RTÉ 1.

Your signature dish if cooking?

A plum pudding that’s not just for Christmas! The recipe has been in my family for over 100 years and I sometimes make it for special occasions throughout the year.

Favourite restaurant?

We love The Barn Restaurant in Glanmire.

Last book you read?

Non-fiction for me — The Riviera Set by Mary S. Lovell.

Best book you read?

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, but from the perspective of a psychological thriller, not a Gothic romance.

Heathcliff is one of the most disturbing characters in literature.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

The Greatest Showman by Pasek and Paul. A wonderful duo who are currently contributing so much to the canon of modern musical theatre.

Favourite song?

Mon Coeur S’ouvre A Ta Voix — from Samson and Delilah by Saint Saens.

One person you would like to see in concert?

Dame Emma Kirkby, soprano and Early Music specialist. I didn’t get to see her when she performed in Cork a few years ago.

Do you have a pet?

No, but some day I’d like to welcome a Bichon Frise to the family!

Morning person or night owl?

It all depends on my commitments. When I’m writing, I like to work through the night to finish the task. Normally, I have very early starts during term time.

Your proudest moment?

Without a doubt, becoming a parent.

Spendthrift or saver?

Whilst I budget carefully, the lure of a 70% discount has been known to tempt me!

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

Traffic management. The volume of traffic on little country roads and the danger it poses to life is very concerning.

What makes you happy?

Being at home with family and friends. Also, seeing people attain their personal best in whatever they set out to achieve.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a decent human being with a sense of adventure and humour!

What else are you up to at the moment?

I’m directing a musical and getting ready for the Semester 2 Musical Theatre Module, but most of all I’m looking forward to Feis Maitiú 2018!

More in this section

Sponsored Content