Saturday, 24 January 2009


Donal was born and reared in Buncrana. He is currently studying for a degree and he is currently busy playing the leading role in Buncrana’s latest Pantomime - Ali Baba. Donal is the leading man, Ali Baba and has to defend himself against the scheming Abu Hassan five nights a week until the 31st of this month. Donal also teaches drama workshops in the former old Cockhill school and last year took the group to the Youth Federation event in Maynooth where they won the All Ireland title in the Performing Arts category playing the Children of Lír. The group are not resting on their success and are preparing for the Lion King that will be staged around Easter time (date to be confirmed). If he isn’t busy enough, Donal also works part time at the Four Lanterns and O’Flaherty’s bar in the town and is also finding time to train for the Belfast City Marathon in May

What music are you listening to at the moment?
I have a lot of music on my iPod and tend to listen to it on the bus. I am enjoying the Prodigy at the moment and I also like Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder. I remember hearing a live band play ‘Superstition’ and asked the band that sang it originally. I went straight out and bought the CD…and just went on from there…

What books are you reading?
I have a few on the go. I am reading two Shakespeare plays for my course - The Tempest and King Lear. I am also reading a book called Let Me Take You Down by Jack Jones. It’s a fascinating and scary read about the enigma Mark Chapman who shot and killed former Beatle John Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980, in New York City. I am up to the bit where we learn of Chapman's fascination with the book The Catcher in the Rye.

What was your favourite childhood game?
In the wintertime my favourite game was getting the sledge out and careering down the bray near the Cockhill Road.

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
It was a while ago now…. Last summer I went to see Christian Bale play Batman who has to deal with the Joker in The Dark Knight. I have always thought Batman was a great character.

What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
I tend to always start at the start and work my way through….

What would you never throw away?
Childhood memories, both emotional and physical….If that sounds a bit too cheesy then I wouldn’t throw away the last drop of corona out of the bottle either.

Most embarrassing moment on stage?
The most recent one would be when I was playing the doctor in Oliver the Musical. I probably didn’t rehearse as much as I should and I kept calling Oliver “she”.

Favourite TV programme?
It’s a bit of a mixed bag for me when it comes to the T.V. I enjoy the RTE programme Reeling in the Years. It picks a year in recent history and covers the news and cultural styles at that time. I also enjoy Planet Earth with David Attenborough, although it’s not on at the moment.

What job did you want to do when you were a child?
It sounds a bit predictable, but I always wanted to be either a teacher or a lecturer.

Where was your best holiday and what made it special?
Last summer in San Francisco was the most enjoyable and interesting holiday I have ever been on. I visited the island of Alcatraz where the former federal prison is. I have wanted to go for a long time and it was definitely worth the wait. There is still so much atmosphere there. When I got back home I watched ‘The Rock’ starring Nicholas Cage and Sean Connory at least ten times…

What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
Is this if I could cook? I would invite Peter Kay around for the craic and Brian Lenihan the Finance Minister just to ask him why….? Then I would invite the actress Jessica Alba……just because……….

What do you do for a special treat?
I am studying full time and in the panto most nights so I don’t have the luxury of special treats just at the moment… I am sure it won’t always be like this……..

Favourite animal?
I don’t do animals…..I think there is a word for people who feel like me ‘Zoophobia’, the fear of animals.

Biggest Challenge?
I tend to take things in my stride so I don’t think I have come across my greatest challenge yet.

What was the best present you ever got?
This is another cheesy answer. I was ten years old and was given a bright yellow Panasonic Walkman. I was also given Bad by Michael Jackson on a cassette to play on it. Nothing has ever equalled or surpassed that present.

What was the last thing you bought just for yourself?
I bought a Panasonic camera for myself yesterday. It’s nothing too fancy and isn’t bright yellow but it does have a 10X optical zoom. I dabble a bit on Facebook and put some photos onto my site.

The world’s most recent interesting development?
That would have to be the Internet. Personal social networking on sites such as Facebook, which I have just mentioned, or My Space certainly open up the world.

Favourite past-time?
This ought to go under the heading of what do you do for a special treat? As I enjoy social interaction. Jogging, the gym and sitting in the Jacuzzi in the Gateway spa. I also enjoy playing the piano …the list could go on…..

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
This would depend on my social class. If I was well up there with the rich landowners and not a peasant, I would probably go for the Medieval times. Lots of Mead in pewter goblets and rich banquets and talk of dragon slaying.

What do you have for breakfast?
Breakfast was my last meal about twelve hours ago. I had cereal I think but can’t remember because I was out of the house and on the 8 am bus into Derry… far too early.

What was your first paid job?
I went to work at the Fruit of the Loom factory when I left school , that was where my first wage packet came from .. And many more besides. I worked there for a long time.

Best/worst household chore?
I don’t mind housework….so I don’t find anything a chore..

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday and all is well.

Personal philosophy?
Live for the moment.

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