A question of taste: Laura O’Mahony, part of Cork-based Cccahoots comedy group

Laura O’Mahony is from Glanmire, Co Cork, but currently lives in Ballycotton, with husband, Shane, and daughter, Polly. She is on tour with comedy group, Cccahoots. They play Whelan’s, in Dublin, tomorrow.

Best recent book: Lying in Wait, by Liz Nugent. I love a good, grim book. Nothing fluffy here!

Best recent film: Ah, how could I say anything other than The Young Offenders? Beautiful Cork up on the big screen, in all its glory. My fellow CCCahooter, Dominic MacHale, doing us all proud.

Best recent show/gig you’ve seen: When you are gigging yourself, it can be hard to get out to other events, but I did manage to sneak a peak at a new play by Irene Kelleher, called Mary and Me. Irene is a fabulous writer and an absolute powerhouse on stage. This play is so topical at the moment, in that it looks at the Anne Lovett case and the silence and sadness surrounding these tragic events.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old): Anyone who knows me will know there is only one singer for me, and that’s Mr John Spillane. I have him blaring out of the car morning, noon, and night.

First-ever piece of music or art that really moved you: My mother, in our kitchen, singing ‘Neidín’. Don’t ask me why, but something about its haunting air and beautiful lyrics, and my lovely mother singing it, had a seven-year-old me bawling my eyes out on our kitchen stool.

Favourite comedian: Peter Kay. He is the master of his craft. He is so clever and so observant, and just seems like a lovely chap. I also love his approach. He does some massive sold-out gigs in huge arenas and then pops home to his family, until the next massive tour.

Favourite comedies: My Sky box is almost exclusively made up of old episodes of Frasier! I love it so much. It is still so clever, today, and its true magic lies in its moments of poignancy and pathos. Also, The Office; that style of humour is so up my street. As for favourite comedy film, you can’t beat a bit of Withnail and I.

Radio listening and/or podcasts: I love talk radio. I love the parenting slot of Sean Moncrieff’s show. My head is often falling off from nodding at all the sensible advice. I love them all: Ian Dempsey, Ray D’arcy, Joe Duffy; you name it.

You’re curating your dream festival — what three artists are on the bill, living or dead? First up, Don McClean’s ‘Vincent’ is my favourite song of all time. I would ask him to just sing it on a loop for the whole festival. Then, of course, it would be Cccahoots, the biggest new act in Irish comedy (it is my festival, of course I am going to include us!). Finally, I would invite Conor McGregor to wander around in the outfit that he wore to the Grand National and just get pictures with people.

Your best celebrity encounter: Last week, we met Ian Dempsey on his radio show and I am still weak at the thought of it. However, years ago I met Kian, from Westlife. Our converstaion went like this. Me: ‘Do you spell your name with a K or a C?’ Kian: ‘A K.’

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when, and why? I would be straight back to hang out with good old WB Yeats. I actually did my masters on a book he wrote, called The Speckled Bird. I’d tell him to stick to the ould poetry, because I couldn’t make head, arse, nor tail of his book.

Do you have any interesting family or ancestors? My parents always told me that I was related to the man who played Fr Devereaux in Glenroe, and also to Danny La Rue! My daughter refers to Conor McGregor as her uncle, but he definitely is not!

Unsung hero: Can I say my husband? He has alot to put up with! He is the best for everything. So, Shane O’Mahony, let me publicly declare here that you are the best.

You are queen for a day — what’s your first decree? Everybody must dance around their kitchen to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstitious’ at least once a day and no-one is to ever use the term ‘life hacks’ ever again!


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