'I moved back to Cork city, looked up at the lights in the sky, and said: 'I'm home'

Person to Person: A Q&A with Laura O'Mahony, part of The Everyman Outdoors @ Elizabeth Fort show
'I moved back to Cork city, looked up at the lights in the sky, and said: 'I'm home'

Laura says her proudest moment was selling out an Everyman show just before the pandemic. "It hasn’t happened yet but it has been rescheduled."

Laura O’Mahony is part of The Everyman Outdoors @ Elizabeth Fort and performs her show ‘Live and LOUD’ on Saturday July 24. Booking on everymancork.com

TELL us about yourself;

I’m Laura O’Mahony. I am a stand up comedian and radio host on every morning on Cork’s Red Fm on Breakfast with Ray Foley.

I am a Mammy to Polly and Alfie, wife to Shane and daughter to Jim and Cora Daly! I am shocked to discover that I have been on the stand up scene for eight years now. I still feel like I am only getting going. My background is in drama, I did Drama and Theatre Studies in UCC, but very quickly realised that I was less about the drama and all about the comedy.

Where were you born?

I was born and reared in beautiful Cork. Born in the Erinville like most 1985 Cork babies. I grew up in Whites Cross, or Upper Glanmire as we call it when we are feeling full of notions!

Where do you live?

I live in Tivoli just on the outskirts of the city. We only moved here in 2019. Prior to that we had lived in Ballycotton since 2014. A beautiful place but a little bit too far away for us.

When we moved back to the city I remember the first night, it was December 20, 2019, I stood in the window of my bedroom and looked out at the orangey lights of the city and I breathed a sigh of relief because I felt I was finally back home.

Family?

I am mammy to two beautiful babies. Polly is six and Alfie is three and a half. I have been married to Shane since 2012 and we have passed the seven year itch stage so we are greatly relieved! I am lucky that my Mam and Dad, Cora and Jim only live ten minutes away and are super involved in all aspects of my life.

I also have a sister called Yvonne who lives in Dublin with her two gorgeous girls, Eva and Rachel, and my lovely brother-in-law Peter. My in-laws are sadly no longer with us but we talk about them every day so it feels like they are here, but I am very lucky to have a lovely auntie on my husband’s side, Sheila, who feels a bit like a lovely mother-in-law, and sure, as we are mentioning people, I am also very lucky to have inherited Shane’s lovely brother Michael John and his cousin Myriam as part of my family too.

Best friend?

My mam is my best friend. My dad says we would need at least two mouths each to do all the talking that we have to do with each other. Over the years she has morphed from being my Mammy into my bestie. I could tell her anything and we can be totally ourselves around each other. I want this for me and Polly when I get older too.

Aside from my Mam though, I have a collection of beautiful ladies that I call my besties, Laura Harte, who I met on my first day in college and who is the brains behind the Improvised Panto at the Opera House every year, Giada Orlandi, who I also met in college, and my beloved bestie Mairéad Scully (aka Ducky), who I met in the Irish College years, also known as the Dawsons Creek years as we lived out all our teenage angst together!

Earliest childhood memory?

My earliest childhood memory involves my beautiful gran, Rita Daly. She was a truly wonderful lady and she minded me while my Mam and Dad, both teachers, were at school.

Laura O'Mahony
Laura O'Mahony

She loved Mass and she would bring me to Mass regularly. I remember one day we were in the North Cathedral and she told me to listen because Jesus was up on the altar. Well, I couldn’t see him so I spent the next ten minutes roaring ‘where is he, Gran, I don’t see him!.

Also, on the same day she told me that a friend of hers had died and we would be going back down the road to Mass for the funeral. Well now, I was only four and I had had quite enough of mass for one day and I started bawling crying. I will never forget what she did, she sat down on the floor next to me and said ‘alright pet, we won’t go so’. It haunts me to this day that she missed her friend’s funeral because I was being a dose. But what a beautiful kind woman she was. I was so lucky to have her. I wish I could have had her forever.

Person you most admire?

The person I most admire is my husband Shane. He is such a balanced and joyous presence in my life. He is never moody. He is so wise and he understands me just perfectly. When we were getting married someone asked him ‘Which Laura are you marrying’ alluding I suppose to the different characters that come with me as a package and he said ‘All of them’ and by God but I love that answer.

He is calm and poised and wise but also so bold and so much craic and I admire his approach to everything he does in life.

Where was your most memorable holiday? We had our honeymoon in Killarney, would you believe. We stayed in the Muckross Park Hotel and it was just the perfect setting. We didn’t do anything extraordinary, we just sat and talked about the wedding, relived all the magic, went to the spa, lived off prosecco and played board games in the night like two auld wans! It was a joy.

Morning person or night owl?

Night owl, I think. But since doing morning radio I am definitely trying to be more of a morning person. I do love a cosy night though, watching reality TV with a cup of tea and some chocolate, oh yes!

Your proudest moment?

God, this is a hard one. I suppose professionally it would be selling out my Everyman show just pre the pandemic. It hasn’t happened yet but it has been rescheduled. Privately, it was the birth of my babies and being a good Mammy to them. I know I am a good Mammy. There are things you question in life but that is one that I am pretty firm on.

What makes you happy?

Lying in bed with two sleepy babies wrapped all around me. Me clinging to one edge, Shane to the other, and our children between us. It’s my favourite thing ever and I sometimes have to stop myself from going into their rooms and carrying them both into our room every night. I stop myself most nights. But some nights I allow us all the treat of being cuddled up together safe and happy.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a person who spread joy and happiness. Someone who has an edge, don’t cross her like, but someone who was ultimately a source of happiness. There will always be those that choose to misconstrue or try to view you in an untrue light but when it’s all done, did I make someone happy? Did I make someone laugh? Was someone’s world better because I was in it? Then my job is done and the begrudgers can flog off for themselves!

What else are you up to at the moment?

At the moment I am desperately writing my show for the Everyman Outdoors on July 24. I have the radio show every morning on Red FM which keeps me very much on my toes. My big Everyman gig has been rescheduled for Sept/Oct and I am hoping to do loads more stand up in 2022. I am toying with a return to theatre at some point but stand up and the radio are my babies at the moment.

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