My Weekend: Work can creep in if there's a crisis in the community

Cork Community Artlink and the Traveller Visibility Group (TVG) are creating a street artwork as part of Cruinniú na nÓg this month. We catch up with Breda O’Donoghue from TVG
My Weekend: Work can creep in if there's a crisis in the community

Breda O'Donoghue, director for advocacy, Cork Traveller Visibility Group Ltd., pictured in front of the group's offices in Cork.

TELL us a little bit about yourself and your work:

My name is Breda O’Donoghue and I live in Cork, on the north side of the city. I am married for the last 26 years and I have four children.

I am a Traveller woman and I also work in a Traveller organisation, called the Traveller Visibility Group. This is a community development project and we work with Travellers across the city on a number of different issues.

My role within the project is director of advocacy and I represent and advocate for my community at local, regional, and national level.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

My ideal way to spend a Friday night is to unwind and just try to relax and catch up on some TV shows I might have missed during the week.

I also try to catch up with the family on what’s happening for them and check in with them on how they are doing.

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

A bit of both, really: On Saturdays, I’m up early, because I have been in that routine all week, but on Sundays I do try to lie in and recharge the battery for the week ahead.

Breda O'Donoghue, director for advocacy, Cork Traveller Visibility Group Ltd.
Breda O'Donoghue, director for advocacy, Cork Traveller Visibility Group Ltd.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

At times, it can, especially if there’s a bit of a crisis in the community, like, for example, if there was a storm and some families’ accommodation was affected, or during Covid-19, if there were families that needed support, if they were isolating.

Sometimes, there may be a report that I might need to read to prepare for a meeting or a training day.

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

I would probably head to London to do some shopping or visit some family and friends and see the sights. I would probably take my husband or one of my daughters.

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

I do like to visit the beaches in Kerry in the summertime and stay overnight when I can, in my campervan.

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

I’m very lucky that I live quite close to my immediate family, so I would see them often enough, but, at times, I would visit some of my extended family in other counties.

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

Not really. I do like to read sometimes, but I rarely get a chance. I also like to go to the cinema, but that seems so long ago now, due to Covid-19.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter, do you have a signature dish?

A bit of both. I don’t get a chance to entertain much myself, but I do like to go to the odd get-together with my friends. I’m not fussy when it comes to food, but I don’t like spicy food in general.

Breda O'Donoghue, of the Traveller Visibility Group Ltd. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Breda O'Donoghue, of the Traveller Visibility Group Ltd. Picture: Denis Minihane.

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

I don’t eat out much myself — I’m a bit boring, to say the least — but when I do, I like to go to places like Luigi’s or Scoozi’s for an evening meal, or Brackens for lunch: They do a brilliant sandwich.

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

I would normally get myself organised for the week ahead, but sometimes I just try to chill and get some ‘me time’.

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

I don’t normally set an alarm, as I generally wake up early enough, but if I have an early meeting to attend, I would set the alarm for 7.30 to give myself time to get prepared.

About Cruinniú na nÓg

Organised by Cork City Council in conjunction with Creative Ireland, over 30 events celebrating creativity in young people are being hosted by 26 cultural venues across the city, as part of Cruinniú na nÓg, on Saturday, June 12.

Cork Community Artlink and the Traveller Visibility Group (TVG) are creating a street art work on the walls of the TVG Building on John’s Street, celebrating young Travellers’ perspectives on life in the Travelling community through symbols, words, and imagery.


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