TELL us about yourself;
I get the question what do I do job-wise a lot – and I usually say “trying to look after Cork”.
For nearly 30 years I have given historical walking tours of the city, written years of newspaper columns on the city and region, and spent the past 13 years as an Independent Councillor in Cork City Council Chamber, and more recently representing Cork in the European Committee of the Regions – a European Assembly of local councillors, mayors and regional parliamentarians.
So my weeks are very varied and can go from research and writing to getting solutions for local issues to debating on the future of Cork to debating the future of of the EU.
Where were you born?
Where do you live?
My parents are healthy and my brother and sister and their partners are all in a good place. The newest addition in the past year has been my little niece Katie, who I have high hopes for that she will continue on the interest in local history!
I am lucky to have very good friends in particular in Lucky Meadows Equestrian Centre near Watergrasshill, where I learned to horse ride and show jump – until my bad fall five years ago – but I still hang out with such friends who are always great craic.
Earliest childhood memory?
I can remember my senior infants classroom in Scoil Chríost Ri complete with some kind of a frog spawn tank.
Person you most admire?
Anyone who champions Cork as a place and who champions those who struggle in society.
Where was your most memorable holiday?
Palermo, Sicily, in the years just before Covid – 10 days of sunshine and relaxation just after Christmas; my world at any point in time during the year is always busy with different projects.
Favourite TV programme?
I don’t get to watch that much TV. I have a subscription to Disney+ but may only get to watch 45 minutes of TV in any given day.
Favourite radio show?
I jump between local topical radio stations in the mornings if I am free, touching base on what’s happening on the ground in Cork.
It’s an Asian restaurant I visit often when on Brussels related work.
Last book you read?
The Battle of Douglas by John Borgonovo. It was for research for a recent historical walking tour of Rochestown I gave.
Best book you read?
Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally.
Last album/CD/download you bought?
Abba’s new album Voyage – once you start listening to it, it gets very addictive, especially the song Ode To Freedom.
It’s got to be Oh What A Beautiful Morning from the musical Oklahoma!. It has got many a good outing at community events over the years.
One person you would like to see in concert?
Morning person or night owl?
I’m a little bit of both – I do my paperwork for my political hats mainly in the mornings and I enjoy local history research and writing in the evenings, which could go on for 4-5 hours or more depending on my writing flow.
Your proudest moment?
Being elected to Cork City Council by the general public three times as an Independent councillor.
Spendthrift or saver?
I am definitely a saver and I often have to think hard about what would I like to buy.
Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?
I am always pushing to plant more trees in the local parks and calling for the celebration of our parks and local heritage much more.
What makes you happy?
Probably when I am in the thick of my different work strands and moving between the different jobs.
I don’t do down time well though!
How would you like to be remembered?
That someone would take up the mantle of Cork local historian in the generations ahead.
What else are you up to at the moment?
Preparing for National Heritage Week 2022! Seven tours, seven Cork city locations, game on!
Organised by Cork City Council, Cork Heritage Open Day takes place on Saturday, August 13, and more than 30 historic buildings in the city will open their doors to the public. Discover the beauty and architecture of Cork City Hall on a guided tour with Cllr Kieran McCarthy at 10am on Cork Heritage Open Day. Booking essential on www.corkheritageopenday.ie/events