As a morning person, I am up at 6.30am and the first thing I have to do is have my morning coffee. I have a dog called Alfie and he has to be fed in the morning before I get into the car. I’m out of the house at 7am in the morning and on the road from Castlebar, straight out the N5 and I arrive down by the Quays in Sligo at about 8.15am. I enjoy the drive, it’s a great time to put on an auld podcast, listen to an audio book or just tune into Midwest Radio to get up to date with the local news.
My previous role in Gnó Mhaigh Eo was to promote Irish in businesses throughout the county. The main objective was to allow people to reconnect with the Irish language in a business sense and promoting the best of what Mayo had to offer.
But, once I saw there was an opportunity to get involved in a new initiative called The Atlantic Economic Corridor, I jumped at it. It’s an exciting new initiative that ties up all the county councils from Kerry to Donegal and it’s all about ensuring that the west gets fair representation and fair investment because a lot of the money is going to the east. I love Sligo, it’s a really nice town and it has lots to offer in the periphery as well between Strandhill and Rosses Point. So, I was really keen once I had that opportunity to take it.
The first thing I will do in the morning when I arrive into work is plan out the day. I’ll take out my diary and write down exactly what I intend to do.
At the moment, with this new role, it’s quite hectic as I’m familiarising myself with a lot of different reports. Because it’s economic development, I have a load of reports and plans to familiarise myself with and then it’s looking at the best ways that the different organisations within the council can work to ensure that Sligo reaches it’s full potential.
I also have to write reports myself on any new progress made in jobs, new industries or any new capital projects. I report on them all in order to get that positive message out there about Sligo, indicating that it has a lot to offer.
At lunchtime, I go to a lovely spot around the corner from me called Lyons’s. When I was in Gnó Mhaigh Eo, I spent most of my lunchtime in Bar One, so I was keen to find a place that would fulfill that requirement. Lyons’s do lovely grub, they have a class pulled pork burger and that’s my regular.
After work, depending on the day, I might go visit my girlfriend who is living out in Strandhill and go for a stroll but most days I go straight home, walk the dog and get a bit of work done around the house.
I’d normally sit down for a bit of grub at around 7pm. I’m a big fan of cooking and I have a few trademark dishes. I do a lovely beef stroganoff, chicken and broccoli bake or maybe an auld lasagna, they’re my top three.
After dinner, I’d normally sit down and play a bit of music or go outside which I try to do as much as I can. I have a New Year’s resolution to get one ocean dip in each week. So far I’m successful in that, so I might head out to either Old Head or Carrowniskey and jump in the ocean, no wetsuit, just go out, liven myself up and get a nice refreshing feel about things for the week ahead.
I love my music and people will probably best know me best for the Mayo song we did back in 2013. Myself and Chris Duffy wrote a song called Mayo for Sam and that was probably our most successful project. I gig with my band Pitch Slapped on the third Sunday of the month in Bridge St in Castlebar. There are five of us in the group: Richie Heneghan, Mary Dempsey, Barry Jennings, Chris Duffy and myself. It’s a nice and relaxed gig to have on a Sunday evening. I have also been involved in musicals with the Castlebar Musical Society and the Claremorris Musical Society.
I’m a big GAA fan and a big Mayo fan, so if there’s any bit of Gaelic on, that’s top of my list. Outside of that, I love to travel, I travel locally whether that’s going up to Dublin for a weekend or down to Galway or up to Sligo. I like to get out and about, I don’t like to sit around in front of the TV, I have to be moving the whole time. Of course in my spare time I read The Mayo News too.
In conversation with Lúcás Treacy
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
I’d go back painting and ‘brush up’ on my art work.
Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?
I lived in Fargo, North Dakota, for six months on an exchange for college.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
Achill – I’ve travelled from Fiji to Fargo but there’s no place quite like Oileán Acla.
What makes you angry?
Woodie from Toy Story
Name three things that are always in your fridge?
Chocolate (controversial), cuineog butter, cream cheese.
What makes you nervous?
Sitting beside my mother when she’s driving!
Favourite TV show?
The US Office.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve met?
2017 campervan from Mizen to Malin Head.
What do you miss most about being a kid?
I was taller than the other kids back then! How things have changed!
What’s your most prized possession?
A painting my mother got me for Christmas last year.
Best advice you ever got?
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Describe yourself in three words?
Modest, handsome, clever!
How do you unwind?
A dip in the ocean.