Tuesday 16 January 2018

One of my teachers bought me tickets to see 'Miss Saigon'

Mairead Farrell
Mairead Farrell

-- John Costello

Radio presenter Mairead Farrell may be best known as Ray D'Arcy's bright and bubbly sidekick on Today FM, but when talking about her school days just don't mention the word glockenspiel. It will make her turn scarlet.

So, were you a Goody Two-Shoes, a rebel without a cause or a right little swot at school?

I suppose all of the above [laughs]. I was middle of the class.

And what type of grades were you getting?

I was frustrated getting Cs all the time, but my mother used to tell me that at least I was consistent!

Fair comment. So, where did you go to school?

I went to St Michael's Holy Faith in Finglas. I loved school.

For real? Just how much can someone love school?!

I loved it so much that, after I had finished the Leaving Cert, the school called because they were short teachers for a school trip. So I ended up going as a chaperone for the First Year students!

What were your favourite subjects?

I loved English and music. And history as well.

If I waved a magic wand and turned you into the Minister of Education would you add a new subject you think is currently missing?

Absolutely! I think all children should learn a foreign language and begin in primary school.

And what made the teachers at your school so special?

The way some of them went beyond the call of duty. Mrs Kennedy knew I was into music and on a school trip she bought me tickets to see Miss Saigon.

So you loved music. Did you play an instrument?

It was the biggest geekiest thing I did in school.

Sounds good! Now tell all.

I played the glockenspiel.

The what, the what now?

The glockenspiel. It is exactly the same as a piano except you are hitting it with sticks.


When I meet up with my friends who went to school with me, and it comes up, it still gets a laugh. Any mention of it still makes me pull a massive reddener.

I'm scarlet for you just trying to picture it...

Listen to Mairead Farrell on the Ray D'Arcy Show weekdays 9.00-12.00 and follow her on twitter @cocomairead.

Irish Independent

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