My influences: Chris Nolan


Bono, In 1980’s Ireland he was an inspiration to a generation that saw emigration as the only solution. He demonstrated the merits of creativity, tenacity, longevity, hard graft and honesty and, despite his massive success, he continues to do that. Even better you can bump into him in his local pub and he’s just mucking in with the rest.


‘The God of Small Things’, Arundhati Roy – A beautiful , evocative book with some strong life lessons. It shows that things are not always as they seem. Ask questions, seek the truth and always be accountable for your actions because once you start the ball rolling you may not like where it stops. I also loved Robin Sharma’s , ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’. A great book to keep perspective in life and question what we are striving for. I always say ‘ Be careful what you wish for’.


Queen – Freddie Mercury. The music is so motivational. Nothing wells me up like ‘ We are the Champions’ at the appropriate time! And of course getting through Bohemian Rhapsody after a few beers is always a sense of achievement.
Film – The Way We Were – Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford. Such a great love story and reality check. I remember the shock at the end when they didn’t end up together, and realising that life offers some tough choices but you have to get off the fence and fight for what you believe.


Sesame Street – As a kid it brought America to rural Ireland. In contrast to some of the parochial kids programmes we were subjected too it seemed so glamorous. Grover demonstrating the difference between ‘Near’ and ‘Far’ was the highlight for me. Nowadays I love the Good Wife and The Newsroom.


Wexford Opera Festival – Wexford Opera Festival started in a tiny town of 14,000 people back in the 1950s. It grew over 20 years to become one of the most renowned Opera Festivals in the world, and continues to be so to this day. It involved much of the local community, as volunteers in all aspects of the organisation, and integrated local volunteers with international professionals seamlessly. It was the highlight of the year for many of us and gave us great reason to hold our heads high. As kids we saw that just because you are small and insignificant now doesn’t mean you can’t become a renowned global player someday.

12 months backpacking around the world on a shoe-string in 1999. We chartered a yacht in New Zealand to sail around the Bay of Islands for a week planning to drop in to the Millennium New Years Party on the Island of Urupukapuka. On the day unfavourable winds meant we couldn’t land on the island and so we celebrated the biggest New Year of our lives sitting at anchor in a storm, eating left over sausages, and waiting for Y2K to sink us! New Year’s Day brought beautiful sunshine and lots of fresh fish though. The best laid plans………….