Time to celebrate Cork’s craft makers

Ahead of Cork Craft Month, Siubhán McCarthy talks about her family, her love of cooking and Cork’s craft co-op
Time to celebrate Cork’s craft makers
Siubhán McCarthy of Cork Craft Month

TELL us about yourself;

My name is Siubhán McCarthy and I’m the operations manager of Cork Craft & Design; a group of over 100 professional craftspeople living and working all over Cork city and county. We run a co-operative shop for our craftspeople at 27a, St Patricks Woollen Mills, Douglas, stocking only craft products made in Cork.

Where were you born?

I was born in Glasgow. My father’s family lived there and my mum and dad met when she moved to Scotland from Donegal to train as a nurse.

Where do you live?

I live right in the heart of Cork city. I love being a city dweller. Cork is an amazing city and I can’t picture myself ever living anywhere else.


I’ve been married to Paul for 24 years and we have two kids both living at home; Lorna is 22 and Gavin is almost 21.

Best friend?

My best friend is Louise. She’s sporty and I’m creative — not two things that naturally go together but it doesn’t stop us from having lots of laughs when she’s around.

Earliest childhood memory?

Long summer days spent on the beach in Donegal.

Person you most admire?

That would be my husband, Paul. He’s such a funny, thoughtful, hardworking, and kind man, I don’t know how he puts up with me! He always tries to do his best for everyone every day and my biggest ambition is to be more like him.

Person who most irritates you?

There is no one in particular, however I generally dislike lazy or rude people.

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

I think Francis Brennan wouldn’t be long whipping the country into shape. He seems very practical and down to earth and he’d charm the country into agreeing with him.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

I don’t think I’ll ever forget my first trip to Rome, it’s an amazing city filled with so much culture, history, and wonderful food. I’d love to go back and visit every year!

Favourite TV programme?

Game Of Thrones; I’ve read all the books and am really looking forward to the next series.

Favourite radio show?

I love listening to Gareth O’Callaghan in the afternoon on Classic Hits 4FM.

Your signature dish if cooking?

I love cooking. I think my smoked fish and leek pie is my signature dish or maybe it’s my moussaka or it could be my banoffi pie... I can’t choose.

Favourite restaurant?

On the Pigs Back in Douglas, it’s like a little corner of France right here in Cork.

Last book you read?

The Heart’s Invisible Furies — John Boyne.

Best book you read?

I have a soft spot for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Berniér.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Paloma Faith — A Perfect Contradiction.

Favourite song?

Landslide — Fleetwood Mac.

One person you would like to see in concert?

I’d love to see Jackson Browne again, I saw him a few years ago in the marquee and he was amazing.

Do you have a pet?

I have two miniature pinchers (Cooper and Mister James) and they are full of character, love their ‘walkies’ and are perfect companions for snuggling up on the sofa with afterwards.

Morning person or night owl?

Night owl — I’m not able for human interaction until a very long time after my first morning coffee.

Your proudest moment?

I can’t single out one particular moment but I have to say that I love being a mother and I’m really proud of the way my kids have turned out; they make me proud every single day.

Spendthrift or saver?

My husband is the saver in our house so I guess that makes me the spender! I do love a bargain.

Name one thing you would improve in the area where you live?

The one thing that I’d like to see is more access points into, and focus on, our beautiful River Lee in Cork city.

What makes you happy?

It’s the simple things really; like spending time with my friends and family, good food, good wine and good company.

How would you like to be remembered?

I’d like to be remembered as a kind, hard-working and happy person, who did her very best.

What else are you up to at the moment?

I’m currently working on the programme of events for our 8th Cork Craft Month, a celebration of craft and its makers all over Cork city and county during the month of August. We have a series of exhibitions, open studio days, workshops and lots of free craft demonstrations lined up and it all kicks off at our showcase exhibition ‘Configurate’ on Thursday, August 3, in Cork City Hall at 6pm — everyone’s invited! For more information see www.corkcraftanddesign.com.

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