A question of taste: Eileen O'Shea

Eileen O’Shea is from Killarney but has been living in Cork for the past three years. She is programme and events manager at St Peter’s on North Main Street.

Best recent book you’ve read:

Willnot by James Sallis.

Best recent show/gig:

I loved seeing Talos at Live at St Luke’s, it was a sell out show and everything from the music, which was incredible, to the lighting was amazing. I love that venue, like St Peter’s it’s a former church.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

International – Hurray for the Riff Raff, these guys are a really young Americana/folk/blues band. The lead singer is part Puerta Rican part Bronx but has spent a lot of time in New Orleans. Anyway, they sing with such passion and the music is top quality. For Irish music I am listening to Brigid Mae Power a lot - she has a really soulful, haunting sound.

First ever piece of music or art that really moved you:

As a kid, my parents were driving past a local venue in Kerry and I saw that Sharon Shannon was playing there that night. I begged my parents to stop and go see her. I sat right at the front practically on the stage and was totally mesmerised.

To see the fun she was having and the great the music she was making was a huge moment for me. Hearing Nirvana on MTV for the first time was also high up there.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!):

It was a one-actor theatre piece with Fiona Shaw playing Mary, the play was by Colm Tóbín and it was called The Testament of Mary. I saw it in the Barbican Theatre in London and it was incredible, the set, the acting and the writing were all just brilliant.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

I am an avid Netflixer and TV series watcher. I loved Big Little Lies this year and Stranger Things, I also watched the whole of Northern Exposure recently; it is the most feel-good tv show I have ever seen. And then there was the latest season of Twin Peaks… phew.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

I love keeping up with local radio, particularly Deirdre O’Shaughnessy on 96FM. As for podcasts I listen to lots- I really enjoyed This American Life’s podcast Serial and more recently S Town.

You’re curating your dream festival – which three artists are on the bill, living or dead?

Kurt Cobain, Nina Simone, Nick Drake.

Your best celebrity encounter:

Helping Kate Moss find a private smoking area to avoid the paparazzi.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event – where, when, and why?

I would portal back to early cinema discovery- probably in Paris or New York to be there watching the development of the moving pictures.

I would have loved to be in the audience (or watching the audience) when some of the first moving images were screened, particularly the first footage of a moving train.

To know where film has got to now and then to see the excitement and hype around the early pictures would be fascinating.

People literally ran out of the screening thinking a train was coming towards them, even though they knew that was impossible.

Unsung hero:

Mad About Cork would be high up on my list. The work they are doing where I work, in St Peter’s on North Main Street is phenomenal.

Twice a week a group of volunteers meet up whatever the weather and jus create a it a bit of colour, or plant life in derelict areas or in parts of the town that need a little love.

They celebrate and promote local legends, sporting and cultural people of the area and the rich history of the area.

I love that so often it’s such an immediate flavour of Cork, you’re walking down the street and suddenly you see a wall burst into colour telling the story of the birthplace of Tanora… or literally brightening up an old laneway.

You are queen for a day – what’s your first decree?

Bring back the old railway routes of Ireland.




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