Tuesday, 16 December 2008


Sheenagh McMahon is the local candidate for the Green Party and is currently promoting allotments locally. For the last eight years Sheenagh has been working for Inishowen Women’s Outreach, which provides support for women suffering domestic violence. Inishowen Women’s Outreach can provide women with information on their rights and entitlements to all benefits, including health board services, housing, legal matters and can also refer to or provide an advocacy service for women. They also provide court accompaniment, for women who may feel intimidated at the prospect of facing court appearances alone. The organisation empowers and supports women and children to make their own choices. Their helpline is 074 93 73232. Sheenagh lives on Buncrana with her three sons, Keith, Stephen and Conor.

What music do you like?
I have a real soft spot for Irish ballads but also enjoy Queen and Guns N’ Roses. I am a bit of a rocker at heart and love November Rain sung by Axel Rose. I adored Freddie Mercury when I was growing up.

What would you never throw away?

My right to motherhood…

What book are you reading?
Futurecast 2020 by Robert J Shapiro the former U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce and advisor to Bill Clinton. He takes a look at how he sees what will life be like in the year 2020. Shapiro foresees monumental changes caused by three historic new forces—globalisation, the aging of societies, and the rise of America as a sole superpower. It’s heavy going and a little scary, but I am enjoying it.

What was your favourite childhood game?
I always loved basketball.

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
I went to see Mamma Mia! It’s really good fun and a soft family film that you can take the children and your grandparents to at the same time.

What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
I try to read the papers from beginning to end but if I am just skimming I will try and find the Letters to the Editor, they always make for an interesting read.

What is your idea of a good night out?
A night in the Drift Inn with good company good food and good craic. My uncle owned the pub some years ago before the Gills took it over so it’s been part of my life for a long time.

Proudest moment of your life?
Last week I met the Lord Mayor of Derry Gerard Diver who gave me the mayoral chain to wear. This was a proud moment for me as my grandfather wore the same chain when he was made the first Nationalist Mayor of Derry back in 1920-1923.

Have you a favourite TV programme?
Would You Believe? It features true to life people who have courage and are inspirational. Last week Mary Robinson was on.

How do you relax?
Horse riding is my therapy. At the weekends I saddle up my horse Co-Co and head off into the countryside.

What job did you want to do when you were a child?
I loved animals and wanted to be a vet.

Where would you like to go for your holidays?
Just somewhere sunny with sandy beaches.

Your idea of heaven?
To be in a position to support and empower the local community…. That doesn’t sound too smarmy does it?

Your idea of hell?

To suffer any injustices that would interfere with my inner peace.

What would you spend a lottery win on?
I would divide it between family friends and some choice charities then with the rest I would buy a farm and breed horses.

What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
Mary McAleese because she values community groups and the people who are involved in them. I like her bottom-up approach, which gives people a voice.

Favourite animal?
I just love horses…

What couldn’t you live without?
I wouldn’t like to be without the Internet. It gives you the world at your fingertips.

Biggest fear?
Anything happening to the family.

Biggest thrill?
When my children were born.

The world’s most irritating invention?
My mothers Kenwood mixer. I love eating what comes out of it but it’s always on and sounds like a cement mixer.

What is your idea of a good night in?
Wearing furry pyjamas and slippers and having a nice warm fire watching a movie on a wide screen TV.

Do you have a hobby?
Horses are my hobby, let’s not forget to mention Freddie my little Shetland pony.

Biggest disappointment?
Being let down by people I trusted.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
Today’s a good day……

World’s most useful invention?
Genuine alternative energy sources, solar, wind and wave power.

What do you have for breakfast?
A cup of strong tea, nutty wholemeal bread and butter with marmalade. I am quite partial to porridge sometimes as well.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
From my wise father, he said, “At all costs keep your dignity and tell the truth.” It was the best advice I ever had.

Personal philosophy?
Do the right thing….

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