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Sunday 26 March 2017

It suits living here, but I'll always be a culchie at heart

Giving a voice to culchies everywhere, celebrity DJs Ruth Scott from Roscommon and Paddy McKenna from Leitrim co-present Weekenders on 2FM.

But it's a long way from the red carpet they were raised.

"Growing up in Elphin, very few cars would even pass through the village," says Ruth. "So moving to Dublin to work for RTÉ was terrifying.

"Ironically, my first job was presenting AA Roadwatch -- and to this day, I still get slagged about it because at the time I didn't even know where Rathmines was.

"It took quite a few years for me to settle in Dublin -- but I'm still very conscious of representing a more regional voice on national airwaves.

"It was definitely a shock to the system," agrees Paddy of relocating to the big smoke to study journalism at DCU seven years ago.

"As a kid, getting up to Dublin to go to McDonalds on O'Connell Street was a big deal.

"For the first few years, I lived in Drumcondra -- which is a bit of a culchie enclave anyway -- so that made the transition easier."


Like all good mulchies though, presenters Ruth and Paddy eventually developed a soft spot for the big smoke.

"I love that there's literally something on every night of the week," says Ruth.

"At home, your options are more limited -- Rihanna's not going to be playing in Elphin parish hall anytime soon.

"Sometimes there's too much choice though -- trying to organise a group of friends just to go for a cup of tea in Dublin can be like a military operation."

But while Dublin is their playground, both agree: there's no place like home.

"My girlfriend is from Tipperary, so I'm still resisting Dublin on a few levels," jokes Drumshanbo man Paddy.

"I'd love to go back and for my kids to have Leitrim accents, but realistically, I'll end up settling here.

"The thing I miss most is the quiet -- that first night's sleep when you go back home is incredible."

"At this stage of my life, for work and leisure, it suits me better to live in Dublin," adds Ruth. "And while I don't get home as often as I like -- I'll always be a culchie at heart."

Irish Independent



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