Mark Durkan.
Mark Durkan.

This week’s Friday’s Child is Mark Durkan. Mark was born at the West Bank Nursing Home on the Northland Road in Derry on 26th June 1960. As a pupil he attended St Patrick’s Primary School, Pennyburn, and St Columb’s College in the city. Mark is married to Jackie and they have one daughter Dearbhla.

How would you describe yourself?

Mark Durkan.

Mark Durkan.


Happiest childhood memory?

Going to Donegal beaches (with sand-dusted tomato sandwiches) in a very unreliable Austin Cambridge car nicknamed “Herc” (short for “Hercules”).

What was your first job?

Summer in a shirt warehouse (putting shop orders together).

Favourite book?

In childhood – Paddington or Huckleberry Finn.

Favourite film?

‘Some Like It Hot’.

Favourite television programme?

‘ Father Ted’ (‘Magic Roundabout’ when younger).

Favourite expression?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Favourite method of relaxation?

Reading, ‘trying’ to cook, or walking on a beach.

Favourite holiday destination?

Inishbofin (The Connemara one, not the Donegal one).

Who would you most like to meet?

My father. He died when I was a baby.

What makes you angry?

Injustice – especially indifference to injustice.

What makes you happy?

A child’s laugh or smile – and coming home to Derry.

What human quality do you most admire?

Honesty, kindness.

What human quality do you least admire?

Dishonesty, spite.

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

A chronic nose-bleed at Edinburgh Castle (during a photo-call and working dinner with First and Deputy First Ministers of Scotland) when I was deputy First Minister.

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


What is your greatest fear?


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

Fatherhood and marriage.

What is your most treasured possession?

St. Mark Icon by Sister Aloysius (my mother who was her classmate got her to do it).

How would you like to be remembered?