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I had a bit of a reputation for being a smart ass

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Niall Meehan

Niall Meehan

Niall Meehan

The head of Griffith College's Media Faculty talks school, Shakespeare and Vincent Browne.

What school did you go to?

Sandymount High School in Dublin.

So, were you the class clown or class swot?

Probably all of the above [laughs].

Why the mix?

In my first year my father died, which had a big effect on me. I was 13.

What were your favourite subjects?

I loved English and history. I read everything on the syllabus connected with them and everything I could get my hands on.

And your pet hates?

I was less than attentive when it came to Irish, maths and science.

How would teachers describe you?

I had a bit of a reputation for being a smart ass. A few would have also thought I was a big pain in the ass.

Oh, do tell us why?

Well for one, arguing with the religious teacher and persuading her to my satisfaction that there was no such thing as God.

That would do it.

But there were a couple of teachers that really made an impact on me.

It is time to name names!

Declan Burke Kennedy, for one, was very ahead of his time in terms of involving the class in discussions. He even made Shakespeare interesting for teenage boys, which is pretty hard to do [laughs].

What would you change about the school?

I would certainly attempt not to make the Leaving Cert seem like it is something your future life and career hinges on.

Finally, pick a school mate - Vincent Browne or Enda Kenny?

Vincent Browne. I would say he would have been far more craic than Enda.

Irish Independent