My Weekend: Good food, great music and fantastic company

Working in the arts and entertainment industry can often entail working seven days a week, so Cork Opera House CEO Eibhlín Gleeson also relishes her precious downtime with family, friends and some good food
My Weekend: Good food, great music and fantastic company

Eibhlin Gleeson, CEO Cork Opera House.

TELL us a bit about yourself:

I grew up in rural south Kerry, in a place called Gneeveguilla and went to school in Killarney. Kerry is a very special place and somewhere I return to often.

I now live in Cork city with my husband and my three year old and two year old. It’s a busy house!

Both my husband and I work full time, Pat is the Managing Director of PEAK Arts Marketing and Management and I am the CEO of Cork Opera house.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

We love to have friends over at the weekend and will often entertain guests on a Friday night. We will have friends over for chats, food and music. 

We have a wide circle of friends from all walks of life, but we all share a love of good food, great music and fantastic company!

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

Definitely up with the Lark! Having a three year old and a two year old doesn’t allow for any lie ins. We’re lucky to get any sleep at all. We’re pretty good at giving each other little breaks when we have the time, so we try and take short naps to keep us going!!

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Yes, often. Working in the Arts and Entertainments industry means being at lots of nighttime and weekend events, which is very much part of the job. However, I am also at my desk on weekdays so sometimes I could find myself at Cork Opera House seven days a week!

So it’s important when I can, to find some time when I can rest and spend time with my kids.

I try to limit my weekend work to night time only as my weekend days belong to my kids. They are still so small and they deserve as much time as possible with their mammy!

We try to fill the weekend days with things that the kids love to do - which means lots of visits to the park!

If money was no object, where would you head on a weekend city break? Who would you bring?

I would take my family and my extended family on a break to a huge villa in the South of France where we could take long walks on the beach, cook lovely meals with amazing local ingredients and find lots of fun activities to do with the kids. I’d bring our fabulous babysitter also, so we could get some badly needed rest!!

West Kerry holds a special place in Eibhlin's heart as she spent many summers there growing up. Picture Dan Linehan
West Kerry holds a special place in Eibhlin's heart as she spent many summers there growing up. Picture Dan Linehan

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

My favourite place in the country is West Kerry. I don’t get there as much as I would like to, but when I do, its beauty really helps reinvigorate me.

It’s a very special place to me, I spent many happy summers there as a child and being there reminds me of what life is all about.

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

Yes we do. My family will often come up from Kerry to visit very often. I come from a close family. I have three sisters and we try to see each other as much as we can.

We are all at the stage of having small babies so we like to make sure the cousins see each other as much as possible so that they can all be friends!

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

As a musician, I try to play as much as I can. I recently took up guitar lessons again as I wanted to improve some aspects of my playing - so I’ll often try and find the time to practice at the weekend - even if I get 10-15 mins in each day, it’s a win! I also really love to craft, mostly working with paper. I find it enormously relaxing and very creative.

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

I like to cook, my favourite dishes are those that take all day to make! On Sundays, I’ll often slow cook some beef or pork and the whole house smells of delicious cooking all day. 

My husband and I like to eat together every day, no matter how hectic the house is. We don’t get to go out as much as we like and we are both very busy people - so having dinner together is time we treasure.

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

I’m a big fan of home grown places that promote and use local ingredients. I think we are spoiled in Cork with incredible places to eat, places that really celebrate local produce. Some of my favourite lunch spots include the Farmgate and some of the amazing places at the English Market. Nowhere quite beats the market for amazing fresh produce and delicious treats!

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

I usually spend it trying to organise my week and just getting some relaxation in. Maybe a good movie to distract myself from thinking too much of the week ahead!

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

My alarm clock comes in the form of a very busy two year old! My daughter Katie-Mae and my son Artie are early birds so we’re usually up before 7. I like to be up early as it gives me some time with the kids before our weekly creche and work routine kicks in. Those morning cuddles are the best.

More in this section

Sponsored Content


Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more