Friday’s Child - Madeline McCully

Haunted Derry author Madeline McCully pictured at her Kingsfort home. DER2915MC002
Haunted Derry author Madeline McCully pictured at her Kingsfort home. DER2915MC002

This week’s Friday’s Child is local author Madeline McCully. Madeline has just written a collection of ghosts stories ‘Haunted Derry’ published by the History Press which will be launched at a special event in the Central Library on Monday night at 7 p.m.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a very positive person and interested in people. I’m also spontaneous and can’t ever remembered being bored.

Happiest childhood memory?

Family picnics at Fahan and Lisfannon shores although we always ate the sandwiches as soon as we arrived. My mother learnt to make two lots for the after-swim picnic.

What was your first job?

I worked in my cousin’s grocery shop in Burnside, Portstewart. It was a great way to meet people and it helped my maths. We didn’t have computerised tills then and it wasn’t a decimal world and it was my job to tot up the books.

Favourite book?

It has to be ‘Tim’ by Colleen McCullough. Second favourite is Maire Heaney’s ‘Over Nine Waves’

Favourite film? 

I loved The Notebook- I’ve probably watched it ten times. it epitomises tenderness and faith. It’s a perfect film.

Favourite television programme?

The Eggheads, I hate to miss it. Years ago I loved to watch the Golden Girls.

Favourite expression?

Thank God!

Favourite method of relaxation?

I love to paint and to read- unfortunately I can’t do both at the one time.

Favourite holiday destination?

Yosemite National Park in California. We discovered it when my husband was on a Teacher –exchange to Berkeley. We backpacked there several times in the Sierras but it’s for younger legs than mine now.

Who would you most like to meet?

I’d love to meet Pope Francis. He seems to be in real touch with people’s lives and is already beginning to make a difference. His American welcome was amazing.

What makes you angry?

Scammers taking advantage of the elderly and cruelty and neglect of children.

What makes you happy?

Spending time with my husband in our wee house in Donegal. No TV, no phone-great!

What human quality do you most admire?

I admire compassion and generosity. I think they go hand in hand.

What human quality do you least admire?


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

On the Teacher-Exchange in California I decided to go shopping. Remember that at that time in Derry there were security men at the doors of shops and you had to open your coat and handbag to show that you weren’t carrying anything suspicious into the shop. Well, there was a man standing at the door of the store and I did what I was used doing in Derry. He ran away! I nearly died with embarrassment.

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

Being told that my father had terminal cancer. He was only 59 years old at the time

What is your greatest fear?

Dare I say it- being buried alive.

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

Celebrating 46 years of marriage to a lovely man who still makes me laugh.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who listened and cared about other people.

What is your most treasured possession?

A DVD of my children throughout the years.

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

I’d make sure my family were all provided for and then try to do something about the terrible refugee situation

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

To spend and evening with my parents and my husband’s parents, just sharing all the things that I didn’t realise were important when I was younger. Also to thank mine for the great start they gave me in life.

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

Rinne mé mo dhícheall - I did my best.