Tuesday 20 February 2018

'I escaped boarding school to attend university of life'

-- John Costello

You may know him as bossy and self-opinionated, but back in school Newstalk's Ivan Yates was diligent and eager to please. He recounts how his school years shaped him.

So how were your school days, dude?

I had quite a bizarre education.

Define bizarre?

I went to four schools. The first was St Mary's National School in Enniscorthy town. I left at the age of eight to go to boarding school at Aravon in Bray. From there I went to St Columba's College in Dublin.

Boarding school all the way, hey?

After I took the O Levels my father was diagnosed with cancer and I had to come home to run the farm while attending Ciurteen Agricultural College in Tipperary. I was 16.

Do you look back fondly on your school days?

I went through a very tough time my first two years in boarding school. But all will be revealed in my book late next year!

Boarding school was a bit of a pain in the you-know-where?

At least I was lucky to escape after the O Levels to attend the 'university of life'.

And how did your schooling set you up for life?

Well, I have found that a lot of people who had a traumatic education tend to be driven.

What type of student were you back in the day?

I was diligent and eager to please.

Listeners to your radio show would be shocked?

As I matured, the characteristics of being bossy and self-opinionated started to emerge.

What teachers, if any, influenced you?

John Flanagan, my English teacher in St Columba's.

You left school pretty early. What was that like?

I was only 16 when I went to agricultural college. So it widened my attitudes in terms of women, drinking and smoking.

Is there anything you think the school system has lost?

Things like multiplication tables and spelling.

If you could have someone from Leinster House sit with you in school for the craic, who would it be?

The likes of Charlie McCreevy. But those type of people would not have been the best in terms of focusing. They are very colourful and entertaining . . . you could be easily distracted.

Listen to Ivan Yates every morning on Newstalk 106-108FM from 6:30-10.00 on the Breakfast show

Irish Independent

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