Sunday, 3 August 2008


Adrian Harkin is an inspirational figure; up at first light every morning to greet whatever the day has in store for him and his family. Living in Moville with his wife and two daughters Kayleigh and Jessica, he has just started up a new exciting business called Just Kayak. He is fully qualified to train coaches and beginners on rivers, at sea and on surf. He does a lot of cross border work with young groups who are on holiday camps. His latest team were from Shantallow and Caw in Derry. Beginners can progress to local clubs such as the Foyle Paddlers in Prehen. He also has accommodation right on the shore at Moville for up to eight people for adventure holiday fans. For more information phone Adrian on 087 2202577 or 074 9382331 (outside of R.O.I add 003535)

What music do you like?

80’s music can be good fun. I listen to the radio a lot as well. Straight to the point Gerry Ryan is a laugh on RTE, especially when he gets two people sparring against one another. He won’t interrupt until its time for the news.

What would you never throw away?
I tend to hang on to boats – even ones that people throw out. Each one tells a story and it’s amazing how the designs have changed over the years. I have an old pair of paddles made by Alistair Wilson from Scotland.

What are you reading?
I get Canoe Focus and Playak, two very good magazines. I have also been enjoying a couple of local books on the islands of Inishtahull and Inish Murry

What was your favourite childhood sport?
Swimming. I used to practice four times a day, starting at 6:30 in the morning. I swam competitively until I was 16 and took part in the Ireland, Ulster Championships and swam in Holland and America.

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
Balls of Fury with Dan Fogler and Christopher Walken. It was funny enough and the children enjoyed it.

What is your idea of a good night out?
Plenty of conversation and slagging sessions in a place without loud music. Good company and good Guinness.

Most embarrassing moment of your life?
I was playing a game in the swimming baths with my daughter Jessica. We call it playing sharks. It consists of me diving under the water, holding her ankles and tickling her. Unfortunately there was a young girl in the pool who was not only the same size, but had an identical swimsuit on. I grabbed hold of her from under the water and you could hear the screams and cries all the way up the Foyle. Thankfully her father understood.

Have you a favourite TV programme?
I enjoy cookery programmes, especially ones with Marco Pierre White in them. He is known for shooting his dinner.

How do you relax?
A nice glass of wine and a pint of Guinness. If I were on my own then it would be kayaking, skiing or snowboarding.

What ambition did you have as a child?
I always wanted to swim in the Olympics.

Where would you like to go for your holidays?
Anywhere there are mountains. I love the openness of the landscape. I could spend my time walking, skiing, snowboarding and kayaking.

Your idea of heaven?
Standing on the top of a mountain, so high up that it makes people faint and change colour.

Your idea of hell?

Working in an office all day.

What famous person would you invite around for dinner?
The boat manufacturer Eric Jackson

Favourite animal?
The dog. We have just got a new puppy called Brandy. He is going to be a big one as he is half collie and half labrador. I have always had dogs in the family

What couldn’t you live without?
My big white van. I use it for work and play. It is so handy, you can just throw everything in the back.

Biggest thrill?
Canoeing down a fast white water rapid, full of French alpine water.

Do you have a hobby?
Not surprisingly it is kayaking.

Biggest disappointment?
I have dodgy ears that came about from an infection when I was young. It restricts me from some diving activities and I have to be very careful in the water so I wear earplugs.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
I was born in 1969 amongst the “troubles” in the Bogside in Derry before moving to Moville when I was 15. They were challenging times with strange emotions and I learnt a lot about feelings. Although this was a big learning curve for me and I am glad I experienced it I wouldn’t want my own children to go through the same.

World’s most useful invention?
The telephone. You can keep conversations short and you don’t have to see people face to face…

What do you have for breakfast?
Something simple like porridge, Weetabix, toast and marmalade, all washed down with a nice cup of tea

What is the best/worst piece of advice you have been given?
I was taking a team down the rapids on the river in Swan Park some years ago. A team member refused to do it and said, “I have someone to go home to” I realised that you can’t take risks with other people and when you have a family you look at life differently.

Personal philosophy?
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that his most embarrassing moment doesn't feature some of the keek houses he has built

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