Wednesday 22 November 2017

Classroom Confidential: Averil Power: 'I was good but once I discovered boys my focus went elsewhere'

Classroom Confidential: Averil Power

John Costello

She may have been a bit of a bookworm, but she was also a bit of a wild child who could frighten the bejesus out of teachers. Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power relives her school days and tells us why she should never be trusted in rooms with big presses. Fact.

So were you super cool in school, notoriously nerdy or just one of the gang?

[Laughs] Probably a mix off all of them!

And how did you achieve that stupendous feat?

In primary school, I was definitely a swot, and maybe even up until first or second year. But once I discovered boys and other distractions in third year my focus went elsewhere [laughs].

How the hell did you manage to go on to study in Trinity?

I was lucky that I always did relatively well in exams because I read a lot of books.

When you weren't fully focused on your studies what were you getting up to?

I helped organise a Battle of the Bands and other charity events in the school hall.

One of the things I really admired about the school is that they always encouraged you to get involved in activities.

Do any teachers stand out when you look back?

For primary school I went to Scoil Mhuire in Shankill and all the teachers were very enthusiastic and encouraged us to aim high. That is something that really influenced me.

And secondary school?

I went to Sion Hill in Blackrock. I grew up in a fairly tough estate in Shankill (Co Dublin) and ended up going to school with girls from Blackrock and Killiney. There was a great mix.

So was there a teacher that made an impact on you in your teenage years?

Siobhan Foster was an English teacher who arrived at the school when I was in sixth year.

She filled me with confidence, telling me I could get the results to go to Trinity and to believe in myself.

Finally, any funny moments that spring to mind from your school years?

In first year, we were taught in a room that used to be an old art classroom with big presses. So we thought it would be fun to hide in the presses and during class jump out when the teacher was passing.

And what happened?

I think we must of frightened the living daylights out of her!

Averil Power is Fianna Fáil Senator, Dublin Bay North. For more information visit

Irish Independent

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