INTERVIEW

My Tipperary Life: Anne Marie O Donnell

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My Tipperary Life: Anne Marie O Donnell

Anne Marie O Donnell

Anne Marie O'Donnell is chairperson of Cashel Arts Festival that runs from September 19 to 22.

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

I enjoy a walk at the lake in Rockwell and or along the River Clashawley in Fethard. Alternatively, coffee and a browse in The Bookworm in Thurles. For a longer day out, I would head for Ballina/ Killaloe as it is scenic and has a holiday vibe.

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

Alice Leahy for her lifetime of work with the homeless and John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy for their empathy and humanity; they have used their lives to make a difference and to help us to understand that any of us could find ourselves in the shoes of those they worked amongst.

What's your first Tipperary memory?

My first memory in Tipperary is my sister Sheila’s christening in Cashel. I was two and a half. When she got upset due to the water being poured over her head, I plodded into the sacristy after the Priest to complain about the perceived unfairness of the process.

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

Much as I adore Cashel, the Rock and Hore Abbey in particular, I also have an affinity with Fethard as I went to school there - I think it has amazing built heritage and all overlooked by Sliabh na mBan.

What do you think gives Tipperary its unique identity?

I think Tipperary has a strong sense of place a bounty in terms of food and amazing people.

Do you have a favourite local writer or author?

My favourite Tipperary writers are poets Grace Wells and Michael Coady. I have heard them both read from their work and I found their insights and use of language inspirational.

What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?

I think it’s the same issue country wide – health services.

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

I would give it a coastline. I love the sea. Two Fethards on Sea! I lived in Wexford town for quite a few years and I loved being able to walk off the day on the beach after work.