Tuesday 20 March 2018

'We featured a group of naked cyclists – that was something I never thought I'd say live on radio...'

Name: Aoife Carragher.

Job title: Head of AA Roadwatch.

family: Unmarried, boyfriend John.

hobbies: I started running three years ago and after many 10ks and half-marathons I completed the Dublin Marathon this year. I've recently taken up pilates and I love socialising with friends. I'm very interested in current affairs and celebrity gossip is my guilty pleasure.

car: 08 Opel Astra.

'We featured a group of naked cyclists – that was something I never thought I'd say live on radio...'

Keeping the roads safe: Aoife Carragher makes sure motorists stay informed What's your own background?

Originally from Co Monaghan, I completed a media studies and German degree in NUI Maynooth. While at college, I started working with LMFM radio in Drogheda as a researcher and reporter on their current affairs programme. I took on this role in a full-time capacity after graduation and from there moved to the AA. Since starting in the AA in 2008, I have gone from part-time to head of department and have completed a master's degree in public affairs and political communication with DIT.

What does your job involve?

AA Roadwatch operates 365 days a year from 6am to 11pm and I manage its staff of 10. I am chief spokesperson for AA Roadwatch and contribute to national and local TV and radio news, as well as numerous online publications. I also take responsibility for website content and the management of our successful Twitter account.

What do you most like about your job?

Being able to communicate directly with thousands of motorists every day. This is a great responsibility, but I love the challenge of ensuring the information we provide is top quality.

What's the most difficult part of your job?

When the weather is bad we have to manage a huge influx of information, although this is by no means a complaint.

What time does your alarm go off for an early shift?

Normally 5am to be in the office for 6am, but we have been known to start as early as 5am when it snows.

Where do you get your information for the traffic updates?

From the gardai, live traffic cameras, event organisers, county councils, sat nav, public transport operators, our own patrols and most importantly, the motoring public.

What's been the funniest reason for something being included in the bulletin?

Our traffic reports regularly feature loose cattle or sheep and once we had a loose llama and a stray monkey on the N11. Another strange one was when a mayonnaise truck overturned and the mayonnaise spilled all over the road. Not so long ago, we featured a group of naked cyclists taking part in a charity event – that was something I never thought I'd say live on radio.

Winter can be a difficult time on the roads. What are your three top tips?

• Slow down. Speed and ice are not friends.

• Allow yourself extra time for journeys.

• Gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving in winter weather.

If you could work in another industry what would it be?

Something totally different, like nursing.

If you had a limitless budget, what would be your dream car?

An Audi TT.

olive keogh

Irish Independent

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