1. Favourite thing to do outdoors
I fell really old saying this, but I like pottering around my garden, planting a few flowers! There’s great satisfaction a few months later seeing everything is still alive, although my track record of killing plants is still pretty high.
2. Favourite place to shop – Shopping Centre/City Centre
I’m not a big shopper, my idea of a nightmare is a day in a shopping centre. Nutgrove is relatively close to my house and I like that fact is quick, convenient and easy.
3. Favourite location for a weekend walk
The walks around Lough Ramor, in Virgina Co Cavan. Gorgeous irrespective of the weather. I have been going there since myself and my brothers were small kids and I now go there with my niece, and her dog. Nothing beats a track through the forest, looking for the Gruffalo or fairies. The Easter bunny has been known to hide his eggs their too.
4. Favourite pub for a cosy drink
The WestWay pub in Kells Co Meath. My local when I go back home to Meath. I’m always guaranteed a friendly welcome by Tomasina & Sam, plus a good old chat on rugby / GAA with whoever is lined up at the bar. It’s a pub for all seasons. Match day atmosphere with lots of friendly rivalry between the local Munster / Leinster supports, there’s a lovely outdoor space and nothing beats a few drinks there on Christmas Eve after “midnight mass”.
5. Favourite park to visit
The nature reserve at Ringsend. It’s a lovely walk from Sandymount, through the reserve and then on out to Poolbeg lighthouse. A completely different perspective on the city.
6. Your Hidden Gem
Not sure if it’s hidden, as it sits proudly on top of a small hill and is over 100ft high, but the Spire of Lloyd in Kells Co. Meath. – It’s often referred to as the “inland lighthouse”. It was constructed as a folly by the Earl of Bective to provide employment during the famine. There’s a famine graveyard there where a memorial mass is held every Christmas. Climb up the 150 or so steps to the top and the views are fantastic. On a sunny day, you can apparently see 5 counties, and as far away as the mountains of Mourne.
7. Favourite roadtrip to take
The N59 from Galway towards Roundstone / Clifden. Once you drive out of Galway city, the pace of life dramatically changes. Everything slows down and you have no choice but to adapt and go with the flow. Once I am on that road, I know holiday time is just around the corner. Wi-Fi and mobile reception are terrible, but that’s not always a bad thing.
8. Favourite OOH site/location
Not necessarily a location, but I love when the Luas is branded well. It creates such impact and presence. There’s no other OOH site which has such high footfall passing on a daily basis. A moving OOH location traveling through the heart of the city and out to the suburbs.
9. Favourite sports venue
Pairc Tailteann in Navan. It’s definitely not up there with plush venues, but nothing beats the atmosphere at a local club football match. Everyone sitting in their favourite seats, choosing “hospital end” or “town end” and trying to find a spot that the old pillars don’t block the view of goals. A close run second is Murrayfield in Edinburgh. The build-up and atmosphere walking from Edinburgh out to the grounds and back in after a game is always fantastic, the banter is great.
10. Favourite Irish beach
Hands down its Dog’s bay / Gurteen bay in Roundstone. On a hot sunny day, it could be mistaken for the Caribbean with beautiful white sands, turquoise sea. On a stormy winter day, wrapped up warm nothing beats a stroll to blow away the cobwebs. Best of all, it’s quiet, often it’s just you and the random cattle/ sheep which stroll on down from the tombolo between the two beaches. A little piece of paradise, which is up there with my favourite happy places.
11. Favourite location for some inspiration
The window seats in McDonald’s Grafton Street. Best seat on the street. Grab a coffee (delicious, by the way) and sit there and watch the world go by. No better spot to get creative juices flowing and also for a spot of people watching. I’ve literally spent hours sitting there and thinking.
12. Favourite mode of transport
13. All-time favourite OOH campaign
This is a bit indulgent of me, but it is “taste is a powerful thing by McDonald’s”. I worked on this campaign in a previous role. The reason I think its great is because it has all the characteristics of a good Out of Home campaign. It was an insight led campaign, executed in a simple, uncomplicated way and the results were really impressive. It didn’t need an additional call to action, the food photography did the talking and through powerful imagery customers were prompt to start reconsidering their burger choices.