Sharon O’Connor

Sharon O'Connor as a baby.
Sharon O'Connor as a baby.

This weeks’ Friday’s Child is Derry City Council’s Chief Executive Sharon O’Connor.

How would you describe yourself?

Sharon O'Connor.

Sharon O'Connor.

Hardworking and optimistic

Happiest childhood memory?

On a swing in the ‘entry’ door frame swinging from the backyard to the entry in the bright sunshine aged about 2yrs old.

What was your first job?

Aged 14 I had a Saturday job in the Hippy Wagon, in High Street, Belfast, if that doesn’t date me nothing will! It sold outlandish hippy clothes and fancy stage outfits worn by rock and pop bands in addition to the ubiquitous joss sticks and imported albums.

Favourite book?

No question, the Great Gatsby, I have loved it all my life since given it by Miss Toner in Form 1A. More recently I greatly enjoyed Death and Nightingales by Eugene McCabe and The Sopranos by Alan Warner.

Favourite film?

Too many choices – Local Hero, Big Lebowski but I still love the classic, To Kill a Mockingbird which covers favourite books and movie combination.

Favourite television programme?

I enjoy quiz programmes and Series’ such as The Wire, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and Borgen.

Favourite expression?

Absolutely.

Favourite method of relaxation?

Hill walking with my big son.

Favourite holiday destination?

Mull and Iona. My partner comes from there and it really is heaven on earth, the pace of life is slower and the people and place are unique. I’m a birdwatcher and the Inner Hebrides have an incredibly diverse natural habitat.

Who would you most like to meet?

I have met a few of my heroes over the years, not always a positive experience! If it were possible I’d love to meet my late Father again.

What makes you angry?

Needless cruelty and cynicism, sadly they seem to keep company.

What makes you happy?

Fire lit, companionship and a contented home.

What human quality do you most admire?

I have to have two, courage and wisdom. I admire people who take risks, inspire others in all walks of life.

What human quality do you least admire?

Cynicism.

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

Too many to mention, turning up to an interview a week early is up there, falling over (stone cold sober) and damaging my teeth is probably more in the embarrassing painful and expensive categories.

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

Receiving my Son’s diagnosis of Autism with Severe Learning Disability.

What is your greatest fear?

For my children’s safety, I also fear any breakdown of our peace.

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

Many high points so it’s hard to single out one, my babies, getting my own home, my degree, first job, first car. Getting the job I do now was a high point.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who committed fully to everything she took on.

What is your most treasured possession?

Family photographs of my late Mother and Father.

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

If it was a very large sum I would invest in brain research to help understanding of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Autism. If a modest sum I’d probably just squander it on handbags.

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

That my son could speak and we could have a conversation.

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

The sum of one’s life is for others to judge but I’d be happy with… she worked hard.