A question of taste: John P Quinlan

JOHN P Quinlan is from Macroom, and founded the Vangard Gallery in Cork in 1991. He is in the midst of a nine-month stint as guest curator at Triskel in Cork.

Best recent book: A Doctor’s War by Aidan McCarthy. From Castletownbere, Co Cork, as an RAF medical officer, he served in France, survived Dunkirk, and was plunged into adventures in the Japanese-American arena comparable with those of famous war heroes. Compulsive reading unlike any other war memoir.

Best recent film: Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen. Allen expresses his love for Paris, a city that he considers, after New York, the most beautiful in the world.

Best recent exhibition/performance: I recently attended an amazing performance by Iarla Ó Lionáird and Micheál Ó Súilleabháin in Ionad Cultúrtha in Baile Bhuirne. I was also very fortunate to see the musical legend that is Michel Legrand in the Everyman Theatre in Cork during the Jazz Festival.

What formats do you access music? I use iTunes and MP3s on a regular basis but I have an amazing vinyl collection that includes all the original Beatles albums. As a matter of fact, my brothers and I started collecting vinyl before we even had a record player. First album ever was Please Please Me by The Beatles which my older brother, Mike, won it in a newspaper competition where you had to list next week’s Top Ten in correct order. Not too easy with the Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Searchers snapping at your heels.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to recently: Grateful Dead, in an album of the same name (1972), do a cracking version of that genius Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Me and Bobby Magee’ even better than Janis Joplin’s version which I also regularly listen to. I’m looking forward to seeing Van Morrison at the Marquee in July.

First ever piece of music or art or film or gig that really moved you: Nothing will ever compare to Rory Gallagher’s first ever open air concert in Ireland in the beautiful castle grounds at the Macroom Mountain Dew Festival. Also, I have always been a huge admirer of Sean McSweeney’s work after seeing his solo exhibition in, coincidentally, the Triskel in 1993.

TV viewing: Strictly for sport and the odd movie.

Radio listening: Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue on Newstalk in the morning, John Kenny in the afternoon, when possible, and our own John Creedon on RTÉ 1 in the evening. What an eclectic taste the Corkman has.

Best recent holiday or weekend break: The only way to go is take to the hills. I’m lucky to be living in Macroom with the spectacular West Cork and Kerry at our doorstep. Hungry Hill, Barley Lake and the Gougane Barra ridge, to mention but a few wonders to behold. Outside of Ireland, we went on an amazing hillwalking trip to La Gomera (Canary Islands ) last spring. Jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Your best celebrity encounter: I had a pint with Rory Gallagher at Macroom Mountain Dew Festival in 1976. He autographed On The Board by Taste which I still treasure.

Best animal encounter: I spent some time in Africa and South America in my far-flung youth and I saw some weird animals but nothing compares to my terrific terrier Roxy Bella Della Maria.

Most expensive item of clothing you’ve ever bought: With my first pay packet from the FCA, all of £8, 3 shillings and 4 pence, I bought a psychedelic disco shirt in Cork, danced the night away and had to walk back to Collins Barracks in Ballincollig.

Tech habits: Smart phone for emails and music. My favourite app is MapMyWalk.

Unsung heroes — individual, organisation or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve: Trainers of underage sportspeople who work tirelessly.

You are king for a day — what’s your first decree? Spread some kindness. Small acts of kindness can go a long way in making the world a better place.

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