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Looking back I cringe at our behaviour in school...

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The report points to considerable dissatisfaction with patronage arrangements (picture posed)

The report points to considerable dissatisfaction with patronage arrangements (picture posed)

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The report points to considerable dissatisfaction with patronage arrangements (picture posed)

Morning Ireland's hostess with the mostess and author Rachael English is left red-faced when she remembers her school days.

So, were you a model student or a bit of a nightmare?

I was way too giddy [laughs].

So what type of shenanigans did you get up to?

We once let a dog into the classroom. We also used to go into classrooms and steal all the chairs for a laugh.

Bravo!

Looking back I cringe at our behaviour. Every generation thinks they are the first to pull these pranks, but the teachers have seen it all before. We were not as amusing as we liked to think we were.

So what school had the honour of enduring such pranks?

I went to St Patrick's Comprehensive in Shannon, Co Clare.

How do you think your school days compare with those of today?

In some ways it was definitely easier. There was less pressure when it came to exams. No one I knew took grinds for the Leaving, whereas now it is very common.

Who was your favourite teacher?

Deirdre Maddon was my English teacher and she was very encouraging. Also, Mr Fintan Quinn, our maths teacher.

Why was he so cool?

He used to regale us with stories about the crazy things that happened when he was in college. He told us if we studied we would also experience that craziness.

And did his words of wisdom work?

In a weird way they did [laughs].

Is writing fiction an escape from the hard news world of Morning Ireland?

Yes, the first book was a total escape. This one has a newsy backdrop but it was lovely to be able to play around with the facts!

Perfect training for a move into tabloid journalism...

Rachael English's new novel Each & Every One is out now.

Irish Independent