Brian Moore asks a number of local personalities from the worlds of politics, sport and culture about how they will ring in 2017 and about their aspirations for the year ahead
JUST as with Christmas, the letting go of the old and the welcoming of the New Year holds different hopes and dreams for us all.
For example, the first question that needs answering is: ‘Where do you ring in the New Year? Are you a party animal or is a quiet night at home with your loved ones your ideal New Year’s Eve? The Southern Star put this important question, along with a few others, to some notable West Cork’s most figures from the worlds of politics, sport and culture to discover just what they expect of 2017.
First up, we put the question of where is the best location to ring in the New Year to writer and West Cork enthusiast ER Murray. ‘I always avoid going out at New Year; I prefer a quiet send off.
‘My ritual since living in West Cork is to walk to Colla Pier in Schull with my husband around 11pm to raise a glass of something sparkling to the ocean. Then, we head home so that I can start writing something new at midnight, while my husband plays his guitar.
‘This year, we’re mixing things up, and my husband is playing a session in a country pub. I’m deciding whether to unleash my bodhran skills on the world yet. You can’t beat the atmosphere of live music as a New Year dawns.’
For newly appointed Senator Tim Lombard his ideal New Year’s Eve involves time with his family. ‘I’ll be enjoying the chance to spend some time with my young family. All I can ask for is to be sat in front of the fire with my wife, two girls and 18-week old sons.’
His plan is echoed by Tim’s fellow politician Aindrias Moynihan TD: ‘I will be spending New Year’s Eve At home, Christmas and New Year gives me the chance to spend time with my family.’
However, for the writer, actress and fashion icon Alice Carey ringing in 2017 will, this year, be celebrated 5,000 miles from her beloved house just outside Durrus. ‘Unlike past New Year’s in West Cork, this year my husband, Geoffrey Knox and I and our rescue cat, Oberon, will be on the couch in our tiny Greenwich Village apartment, in front of the fire drinking wine, playing jazz and trying our best to relax.’
Is there anyone heading out to help 2017 arrive in a haze of wine, music and song? Perhaps world kickboxing champion and Bantry native, Lily de la Cour has a wild night planned? ‘I’m spending the New Year in Bantry. We tend to stay at home for most of the Christmas season and make the most of it as a family,’ Lily said.
Of course, at this time of the year we all promise ourselves that we will exercise more, eat less, read more or give up all the things we enjoy so much and are bad for us, right?
‘I don’t make resolutions as I prefer the constant reflection-evaluation approach, but I am aiming to create more of a work-life balance this year,’ ER Murray said. ‘The last two years were intense and filled with deadlines.
‘As a result, I frequently neglected my (very understanding) family and friends, so I’m going to give them the attention they deserve this year. When it comes to my writing, I’m hoping I can do my readers justice and bring The Book of Revenge – Nine Lives Trilogy 3 to a satisfactory conclusion before moving on to something new.’
For TD Aindrias Moynihan, he has only one resolution for 2017: ‘Normally, I wouldn’t make any New Year’s resolutions, but in the year ahead I’m keen to continue using the new platform I have as Cork North West TD to progress the issues that are concerning locals.’
In New York, Alice Carey’s 2017 is focused on just one target to accomplish. ‘I never make specific resolutions, as throughout the year I’m always resolute in what I do, or hope to do. However, for 2017 I am super-resolute in completing a new book I started working on a few weeks ago.’
As for Senator Tim Lombard, his New Year will begin with an eye on his sugar intake. ‘At this stage, just to take it a day at a time. With young kids chaos will ensue so I’m hoping just to keep it together as well as make a concerted effort to look after my health and fitness – less sugar in my coffee you know – for the long-term benefit of my family.’
Lily de la Cour is also focusing in on her diet plans: ‘At the moment, I haven’t decided on anything in particular. I’ll have to start being very strict with my diet soon though as competitions start in February.’
And, what of the hopes and dreams for 2017? Alice Carey said: ‘I wish the world would listen with its collective heart and head to countries in need, like Syria. In 2008, Geoffrey and I rented a car in Damascus and drove around for three weeks. We experienced nothing but friendship, as well as glimpses of the Blessed Mother in street shrines kept by Syrians devoted to her wish, like John Lennon’s, to give peace a chance.’
Tim Lombard wants to focus on the plight of the homeless. ‘We’re making strides towards it now, but I’d hope for some resolution to the homeless crisis, a home for everyone. With Syria and now Berlin, world security and society is under threat of attacks and underneath all that is a lack of compassion and understanding for other people, which I’d hope we as a global society could reconcile.’
ER Murray echoes Tim Lombard when it comes to the homeless crisis in Ireland: ‘I’d love to see an improvement in the homelessness crisis in Ireland – it’s heartbreaking. I’ve seen lots of people in the arts raising funds and helping, but we need the government to take control and put something more secure in place. ‘Globally, the refugee situation is a disgrace. I have no time for this “look after our own first” attitude” we should help whomever we can, whenever we can. Even the smallest gesture can change a life.
‘On a more personal level, so many people close to me suffer from stress and depression, so I’d like to see a little more peace come their way.’
Lily de la Cour said: ‘To be honest the world is a crazy place at the moment. It would be nice to see more positive stories in the news in 2017 – I think we’d all like that.’
Hear, hear, to that Lily!