Friday’s Child - Oisin Maceo

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This week’s Friday’s Child is Oisín MacEó, a founder and principal of Gaelscoil na Daróige, an Irish medium primary school in Ballymagroarty. He is originally from Rosemount and still lives in Derry with his wife Lisa and his son Dónal Ciarán. At 36, he makes the unusual claim to be the oldest Oisín from the city and even took part in the first ever Foyle Cup. Today we have run his Friday Child feature in both English and Irish.

How would you describe yourself?

The oldest Oisín in Derry city. No one had that name when I was growing up but it became so popular recently that all the boys in our P7 were called Oisín. That’s why the children gave me the nickname ‘Oisín Mór’ (Oisín senior).

Happiest childhood memory?

Playing football on the street in Rosemount and with youth teams. As our team’s penalty taker I must have been the D&D’s highest scoring underage goalkeeper ever. I conceded many more though!

What was your first job?

Dunnes Stores, Belfast. After a few weeks I was told I wasn’t suited to retail, which I think was code for you can’t fold clothes properly- my wife would say that’s still the case!

Favourite book?

‘Daisy Dog Wake Up Book’. I was read it as a child and know some of it off by heart, unfortunately it’s out of print now. My favourite Irish book is ‘Toraigh na dTonn.’

Favourite film?

A toss-up between ‘Big Lebowski’ and the original 1973 ‘Wicker Man’.

Favourite television programme?

I never really watched TV until I married Lisa. Like a pair of sad eejits, we play along with ‘Mr & Mrs’ and would fancy our chances as a team on ‘Pointless’.

Favourite expression?

My favourite English expression would be “Panic, you’re beat”. “Ná suigh ar do thóin ag déanamh bróin” is my favourite Irish one.

Favourite method of relaxation?

Heading off to scenic places in Ireland.

Favourite holiday destination?

Tory Island is an island of over 100 Irish speakers, nine miles off the Donegal coast. My wife’s grandmother went there after she got married, so we made a tradition of it by staying there on our own honeymoon. I try to get out there once every summer.

Who would you most like to meet?

No one now as I’ve already met the woman of my dreams!

What makes you angry?

Gossip.

What makes you happy?

Spending time with my wife and son.

What human quality do you most admire?

Courage to face your fears

What human quality do you least admire?

Greed

What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

I’m not easily embarrassed, although apparently I should be embarrassed about my dancing!

What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?

A Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage when I was 28, I’ve had to slow it down a bit since then.

What is your greatest fear?

Letting others down

What has been the high point of your life to date?

Professionally: the Gaelscoil finally being recognised in 2009 after four years. Personally: the last twelve months- getting married and holding my son for the first time.

How would you like to be remembered?

A teacher, a husband and a father.

What is your most treasured possession?

I don’t really have any possessions, but I do have boxes of little mementos such as film ticket stubs, letters and festival wristbands that my wife would love to see dumped!

If you won the lotto what would you do with it?

Probably give it away. Your health is your wealth.

If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?

To be allowed a simple and happy life with my family and the time to enjoy it.

If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?

“For every happy hello, there will be goodbye” is a line from a song I always thought would make a nice gravestone inscription.

IRISH VERSION

Is duine dena bunaitheoirí agus príomhoide Ghaelscoil na Daróige i mBaile Mhic Robhartaigh é, Oisín MacEó. B’as Cnoc na Rós dó agus tá cónaí air i nDoire fós lena bhean chéile, Lisa agus lena mhac Dónal Ciarán. Áisteach go leor, deir Oisín, 36, gurb’é an ‘tOisín’ is sine sa chathair agus bhí sé páirteach sa chéad Foyle Cup riamh.

Déan cur síos ort féin?

Is mise an tOisín is sine i gcathair Dhoire is dóigh liom. Ní raibh an t-ainm le cloisteáil sa chathair nuair a bhí mé óg ach d’éirigh sé chomh mór sin ar na mallaibh go raibh Oisín tugtha ar achan bhuachaill i R7 s’againn anuraidh. Tugann na páistí ‘Oisín Mór’ orm mar sin.

Cuimhne na hóige is fearr?

Chaith mé laethanta áthasacha m’óige ag imirt peile ar shráideanna Chnoc na Rós agus le foirne óga. Os rud é gur bhuail mise na ciceanna éirice is dóiche gur ghnóthaigh mé níos mó cúl ná báirí ar bith eile i stair an D&D! Afach, lig mé go leor isteach fosta de dhéanta na fírinne!

Cad é do chéad phost?

Dunnes Stores, Béal Feirste. Duradh liom i ndiaidh tamaill bhig nar fheil an tionscal miondíola domh, nó i mbeagán focal, nach raibh mé abálta éadaigh a fhilleadh! Bheadh mo bhean chéile ar aon intinn leis sin fós.

An leabhar is ansa leat?

Daisy Dog Wake Up Book is ansa liom. Léadh é liom i m’óige is tá cuid mhaith aige de ghlanmheabhar agam, ar an drochuair tá sé as cló anois. S’é ‘Toraigh na dTonn’ an leabhar Gaeilge is fearr liom.

An scannán is fearr leat?

Idir ‘Big Lebowski’ agus ‘Wicker Man’ (1973).

An clár teilifíse is fearr leat?

Níor bhac mé leis an teilfís go dti gur phós mé Lisa. Mar phéire amadán, imrímid le Mr&Mrs agus ba bhreá linn seans ghabháil ar Pointless.

Nathanna cainte is fearr leat?

“Ná suigh ar do thóin ag déanamh bróin” an nath chainte Ghaeilge is fearr liom agus s’í “Panic you’re beat” an ceann Béarla.

An dóigh is fearr leat do scíth a ligint? Tugaim camchuairteanna ar áiteanna ar chósta Éireann.

An ceannscribe saoire is fearr leat?

Oileán Thoraigh. Tá breis is céad cainteoirí Gaeilge ann, 9 míle amuigh as cósta Dhún na nGall ag bun na spéire. Chuaigh mamó Lisa isteach i ndiaidh a bainise agus rinne muid traidisiún de nuair a rinne muid amhlaidh ar ár mí na mealla.

Cén duine arb ansa leat bualadh leis?

Duine ar bith anois ó casadh bean mo bhrionglóidí orm!

Cad a chuireann fearg ort?

Cúl-chaint

Cad a chuireann áthas ort?

Is deas liom am a chaitheamh le mo bhean chéile agus le mo mhac.

Cén bua daonna is mó a thaitníonn leat?

Misneach in aghaidh na heagla.

Cén bua daonna is lú a thaitníonn leat?

Saint.

Cad é an náire ba mhó a tugadh duit?

Is duine gan náire mé de ghnáth, ach deirtear go mbainfeadh mo dhamhsa do náire dhearg asat!

Cad an rud ba mheasa a tharla i do shaol?

Bhí rith fola inchinne fó-aracnóideach agam nuair a bhí mé 28, athraíodh luas an tsaoil s’agamsa go mór ó shin.

Cad é chuireann an eagla is mó ort?

Bím buartha daoine eile a ligint síos.

An rud is fearr a tharla duit go dtí seo?

Maidir leis an obair: nuair a aithníodh an Ghaelscoil ag an Roinn faoi dheireadh. Go pearsanta: an 12 mhí seo a chuaigh thart- phós mé Lisa agus thóg mé mo leanbh i mo bhaclainn den chéad uair.

Cén chuimhne ar mhaith leat a bheith ag daoine ort?

Mar mhúinteoir, mar fhear céile agus mar athair.

Cén iarmhais is tabhachtaí leat?

Is duine gan iarmhais mé go fírinne ach tá mol mór boscaí agam lán de chuimhneacháin bheaga ar nós duillí ticéid scannáin, litreacha agus rostbhandaí féiltí ceoil ar mhaith le mo bhean chéile a chaitheamh amach!

Dá mbainfeá an crannchúr náisiúnta, cad a dhéanfá leis?

Bhéarfainn uaim in aisce é is dóiche. Is fearr an tsláinte ná an táinte.

Dá mbeadh mian amhain agat, cad a iarrfá air?

D’iarrfainn saol símplí, sona le mo chlann agus an t-am a bheith againn chun taraibhe a bhaint as le chéile.

Cad a scríobhfá mar fheartlaoi dá mbeadh an rogha agat?

Bheadh “Níl aon teacht gan imeacht” deas machnamhach ar mo leac uaighe sílim.