This week’s Friday’s Child is Gareth McGlinchey who describes hinself as a bodybuilder, author and comedian. The son of Sean and Marietta McGlinchey, Gareth is brother of Sean Jnr and Clare. Long Tower school and St Peter’s secondary school.
How would you describe yourself?
Wannabe bodybuilder, author, comedian and animal shelter owner.
Happiest childhood memory?
Standing outside the living room door with my brother, Sean on Christmas morning, waiting till the flash built up on my dad’s Hanimax 22mm camera - that’ll be the one that was the same length as a plank of wood - to go in and see what Santa brought. Nothing to this day matches that kind of excitement.
What was your first job?
I started my working life as a bouncer and continued down that path for 14 years. Other jobs included bodyguard, overlocker machine operator in Fruit of The Loom, personal trainer, stone mason for grave stones, debt collector (not the kind that hold you upside down by the ankles and shakes the money out of you, I find it easier making him do a handstand and throwing a spider down his trouser leg, money doesn’t be long flying out of the pockets then, I mean, why should I do all the work?) and petrol pump attendant...I suppose one might say I had a ‘diverse’ C.V.
‘The GUV’NOR’ by the late Lenny McLean.
‘The Iceman’, the story of Richard Kuklinski, my favorite serial killer. Many would say its unhealthy to have a ‘favourite’ serial killer and id say its not as unhealthy as carbs after 6pm
Favourite television programme?
‘The Office’, by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
Favourite method of relaxation?
A big mug of tea at one side of me, my 13 year old son Taylor (a Yorkshire terrier) on the other side of me, my laptop on my knee, working on my new book while Plácido Domingo performs la donna e mobile.
Favourite holiday destination?
It’s hard to beat a flask of tea and a tray of sandy sandwiches on the beaches of Gweedore on a windy summer’s day.
Who would you most like to meet?
I would liked to have met both my grandfathers, Eddie and Daniel who I’m named after. I like to think, through their names, I carry on some of their gentlemanly ways.
What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?
Take your pick. Calling Mr Bray, my year teacher, ‘daddy’ in front of the class and honest to God I called my then, English teacher, Miss Mellon, mammy! Going up the town buying new shorts for sports day in p6, only realising half way through the egg and spoon race they were actually boxer shorts, the draught gave it away!
What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?
Every time, the loss of my best friend, the woman who taught me how to laugh, how to see the world through happy eyes, and to choose love over hate - Sarah Maria Goretti, my mother...I was the first to reach the hospital the morning she passed over. She lay, covered with a beautiful clean crisp white sheet. I slipped off my trainers and lay up beside her like I’d done many times as a child, only this time, it was my arms around her, assuring her everything would be ok.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing anyone close to me can keep me up at night. My family, my friends and my boy, Taylor
What has been the high point of your life to date?
I’m so lucky to have lived the life I have. When my wee sister was born that was pretty amazing. I remember holding her in my arms, she couldn’t talk and was slabbering down her chin. I’ve was bodyguard for Prince Abdul of Saudi while he holidayed in Paris, I felt what it was like to win an Irish title in bodybuilding, But for me, getting asked to be Friday’s Child has to top them all!.
How would you like to be remembered?
If I leave this world with more friends than enemies, then I’ll be happy enough with however people remember me.
What is your most treasured possession?
A lock of mammy’s hair, a purple rose she held in her hands during her wake and the abundance of love she left in my heart.
If you won the Lotto what would you do with it?
Open a ‘no kill’ animal shelter where all our little neglected unwanted furry friends would be loved and treated like equals, the only catch - animals are allowed to enter, but they must never leave!! I’d treat my brother to a miniature xbox FIFA cup because he can’t win the one I have off me and I’d buy my da, big Sean Connery, a greyhound, for the last one he backed at 3/1 in lifford took off and was last sighted heading for Strabane.
If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?
While I could stop wars, bring leaders of men together in the name of peace or wipe out diseases, my one wish in life is to simply hold my mammy’s hand, just one last time.
If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?
“Da, your standing on my ribs ya gulpin,” (My dad erects headstones!)