Who’s your hero?
Nelson Mandela. And my late father was a great man, a hard worker.
Nationally, what do we need more of?
We need to move away from the negative and begin focussing in on the positives. There’s not enough good news being reported and it has a subliminal effect on us all.
Why did you get involved in community development?
I worked in the private sector and travelled with the food industry. I liked the buzz and the adrenalin, then I took some time off, went back to college and studied rural development. I fell for it because it was so positive, constructive and it made a difference. Then I found myself volunteering in Macroom for three weeks, which turned into one year.
What are the top four issues in Ireland today?
2. Suicide – particularly among young men.
3. Isolation and lack of community contact within the last decade, although there’s a sense now that it’s improving.
4. The Economy – there’s a growing sense of frustration.
What difference has it made to you being involved in the Local Development Company?
We are making a difference. Sometimes, you’re working with someone who has a dream but fears for their future… Sometimes, you start with communities who start with very little and you see them develop. It’s also very challenging, there are more barriers than there are solutions sometimes and you’re always thinking of ways to get around barriers. The job never ends.
What are you reading at the moment?
Jeremy Clarkson’s “Around a Bend”.