Sunday, 26 October 2008

5 MINUTES WITH - EILEEN KELLY


Eileen Kelly started running the day care centre in Moville back in 1981. Originally it was only going to be for a short period of time. She based the idea on a working man’s caf√©, where people could come and meet informally. On the first day 11 people turned up and since then it has grown to be a vital part of the daily lives for a lot of senior citizens in the area. The North Western Health Board part fund the centre and the rest of the money comes from fundraising. Just recently the centre has put in new carpets and other fittings such as comfortable chairs. One of their famous visitors is Neily Havelin, who played GAA for Donegal. Their eldest member will be 99 in January. Three staff keep the centre running and everyone is talking about and looking forward to the Christmas party.

What music do you like?
I enjoy a bit of classical with Pavarotti and lighter music such as Celine Dion. Her voice is full of emotion, especially when she sings The Power of Love…am I being soppy?

What would you never throw away?
I am a definite hoarder. I especially hoard at work, as you never know when you might need something. We used a lot of things for a float we did one year in the Muff festival.

What are you reading at the moment?
I always have a look through the People’s Friend and Ireland’s Own magazines, they are a good light-hearted read. I am also reading about the famine ships… history has a lot to answer for.

What was your favourite childhood game?
I enjoyed netball. I was in a team with evacuees in the war, but later went to a boarding school in Africa. We didn’t play there because of the heat….

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
I’m waiting for the Shine of Rainbows to come out… My husband’s 30’ half deck boat is in the film when shooting was around Glengad. I enjoy any film with the sea in it

What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
I don’t normally get a chance to read the paper but I will read the odd article if one catches my eye.

What is your idea of a good night out?
A quiet meal out. The Cove at Shroove opposite the beach and the Waterfront both do great meals. You can relax and have a drink as well because they are so local.

Most embarrassing moment of your life?
It involves a spade, a hole and people being able to see me from the road.

Have you a favourite TV programme?

I watch the soaps. Coronation Street, Eastenders and Emmerdale. I particularly enjoy Emmerdale, I am a Yorkshire woman at heart and like to listen to my language.

How do you relax?
With my dogs and horses. I go to shows often with them to Malin and Lenamore.

What job did you want to do when you were a child?
Being an air hostess always seemed so romantic. I tried when I was in Nairobi but I think I was too short as there were height restrictions at the time.

Where would you like to go for your holidays?
Being on safari in Africa would be fantastic. I love animals and to see them in the wild would be a real bonus.

Your idea of heaven?
Sitting in a nice warm room with the glow from a fire casting shadows on the walls.

What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
It wouldn’t give me much pleasure to invite famous people around as they would all be strangers to me. Dinner with the people in the centre is far more enjoyable.

What would you spend a lottery win on?
I would take all of the forty- four people in the centre out for a holiday of a lifetime.

Favourite animal?
My German shepherd dog, Rio. I have had German shepherds since I was 15. My mother got a bonus and told me to go out and buy a coat. I came back with a dog. Mother went mad!

What couldn’t you live without?
I couldn’t live without my husband, family and pets.

Biggest fear?
I don’t like snakes. I didn’t get used to them in Africa either. My mother had some near misses. she also stood on what she thought was a rock but turned out to be a crocodile. She was a good runner.

Biggest thrill?
The party for the 25-year anniversary of starting the centre. It was a wonderful surprise.

The world’s most irritating invention?
The TV. It has stopped people going out and visiting for the chat and stops conversations in the house.

What is your idea of a good night in?

Chocolate éclairs, good company and a cup of tea.

Do you have a hobby?
My grandchildren and the horses. We have recently spent time at the pony club at Lenamore.

Biggest disappointment?

When I found out that my son had died in 1993. He was 28 and would be 44 now. He was living in Brighton and got involved in drugs.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
I am happy with now, even the times I was running away from bombs in the war and being taken to Wales as an evacuee.

World’s most useful invention?
It would have to be the car.

What do you have for breakfast?
1 ½ Shredded wheat. Unlike the advert, I can’t eat three.

What is the best/worst piece of advice you have been given?
Most advice is given with good intentions. You have to make up your own mind if it is good or bad.

Personal philosophy?
Treat people as you would like to be treated.

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