INTERVIEW

My Tipperary life: RTE presenter Mary Wilson shares her favourite things about the Premier County

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Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson

Drangan born broadcaster and journalist Mary Wilson began her career with RTE in 1990 having worked in local newspapers. Now living in Dublin, she presents Drivetime on RTE Radio 1.

What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend in Tipperary?

I had one of those perfect weekends not so long ago with my hillwalking friends. We stayed in the Aherlow House Hotel and had two days wonderful walking in the Galtees. It was chilly winter weather but perfect for long and sometimes challenging hikes through stunning countryside.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Tipperary in your lifetime - and why?

Oh how I have pondered this question..... I could say great hurlers who have given so much joy. I could say community leaders who do so much to aid progress. I could say the captains of agriculture and industry. But I won’t. My shout out goes to the women of Tipperary. And why?

Because I want to acknowledge the women, the unsung heroes who nurture and care for and encourage and do so much to motivate and hand on to the next generation.

What's your first Tipperary memory?

It is of summer hay making and Autumn corn cutting and long hot days (memory is all about sunny summers).

What's your favourite part of the county - and why?

I could hardly return to Drangan if I didn’t say it is the view from my family home in Rathkenny across to Slievenamon and how it changes with the seasons.

What do you think gives Tipperary its unique identity?

Meadows, mountains horses and hurlers.

Do you have a favourite local writer or author?

I have a favourite book, though I think the author is a Dubliner. It is Angela Bourke’s The Burning of Bridget Cleary. I grew up close to the Fairy Cottage and knew the famous rhyme that goes:

Are you a witch or
Are you a fairy?
Or are you the wife
of Michael Cleary?

But it was Angela’s book that gave me, for the first time, the full and frightening story of what happened to Bridget Cleary in that cottage in the shadow of Slievenamon. I can never pass by that cottage without wondering about Bridget and her fate.

What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?

I don’t live in Tipp and I haven’t lived in the county for a long time, so I think it would be wrong of me to give an outsider’s view of those challenges. But I hope I am always open to listening and learning from those that do.

If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Tipperary, what would it be?

Change!.....Tipp!......how can you improve on perfection!