Some well known local personalities share their holiday plans with Emma Connolly, with staycations proving as popular as ever this year with the hardworking bunch who are mainly staying on home turf
SUMMER holidays for Martina O’Brien, Cork senior ladies’ football goalkeeper, are a little different to most as they are almost exclusively spent playing sport.
‘For the past five years I have been a member of the Cork senior ladies’ football team which has meant my holidays were much different. A typical summer for me involves training and playing matches, with my clubs Ballinascarthy and Clonakilty, and county.’
She spent June training which wasn’t isn’t without its fun: ‘It’s intense running and conditioning and is usually the most important preparation part of our season but we also have team bonding days and/or a weekend which allows us to strengthen team work, moral and friendships.
‘July and August are when competitions are at their highest in both club and county, and so nights out and weekends away are at a minimum. The commitment required for sport is always highest during the summer months but most often than not comes with its rewards at the end of the season.’
When Martina isn’t playing sport she is usually working as a massage therapist. ‘Up until recently I lived and worked in Tralee out of a chiropractor’s practise. I have since moved home and have set up my own massage therapy practice in Ballinascathy.
‘This undertaking has and will take up a lot of my free time over summer but I really look forward to the challenges it will present me with each day.
‘My summers aren’t full of travelling abroad or taking lots of interesting staycations but they are filled with lots of time spent with friends and family doing the things we enjoy and really that’s just as good as anything!’
County Mayor Declan Hurley is looking forward to taking a week’s break in August. He has just taken over the chain of office and is very keen to focus on the position, but says this has been penciled in the diary for ages.
Besides, it’s not just any old holiday – it’s a trip to Queven in Brittany, a town Dunmanway has been twinned with for 30 years.
To mark the milestone, they are hosting Declan as part of a group of 30 to celebrate the occasion.
‘In general I’m not a big sun lover, I’m happiest on activity weekends away,’ says Declan who admits he hasn’t travelled as much as he would have liked to given his commitments to his 60 acre dairy farm.
As part of his year as county mayor he’ll travel to the USA and China where he says he’ll build on working relationships to better the area.
Meanwhile, Michael O’Neill of Fernhill House Hotel and Gardens in Clonakilty says even though summer is a very busy time of the year for them, he’ll grab a short break with his wife Freda.
The couple are looking forward to the birth of their first child and want to schedule in some R&R before the November due date.
‘We have many couples celebrating their wedding with us in our gardens. However I have managed to sneak a break away this month. My wife Freda and I have decided to do a staycation this year and we are visiting Sligo.
‘It is a part of the Wild Atlantic Way that we have yet to explore so we are really looking forward to it. We are staying in some beautiful country houses which are well known for food so hopefully I will be able to bring back new ideas to Fernhill House. We are expecting our first child in November so it will be nice to have a relaxing holiday together.’
Well-known sports commentator Paudie Palmer says he ‘doesn’t really do holidays.’
He regards his work as his hobby so doesn’t feel the need for breaks as such. But on the occasion he does like to get away he heads to his home turf of Kerry – and enjoys a few days in Kenmare and Dingle.
Originally from Templenoe he says: ‘I’m not a man to go abroad – I’m committed to work at this time of the year and besides I get to exercise my hobby every weekend.’
Champion rower Denise Walsh would enjoy a break in the Maldives – in an ideal world. ‘The water there looks amazing so I could fit in training and a sun holiday all in one!’
The reality is a little different though: ‘I’m training at the moment in Skibbereen in my single and trying out some new equipment like new blades. I’ll hopefully be testing out a different boat in the coming weeks as well all in preparation for being selected for the world championships in Sarasota, Florida.
‘Our club is competing in the Irish National Championships in Cork later this month – so it’s a busy time right now.’
She will enjoy a week off after this though and intends to take a few days holiday around Ireland and hopefully visit a friend in Edinburgh.
‘Our “summer holidays” will be the two weeks after the world championships. I’d love to stay over there and see a bit of the USA but I’ll organise that closer to the time if all goes well. First it’s about going fast and winning medals, then the fun can happen around that!’