Eoghan McDer­mott on...

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Cover Story -

…re­al­ity TV

I think some of the Big

Brother stuff is a bit ques­tion­able — the way the rows are han­dled — and shows like The Bach­e­lor where you’re sup­posed to get mar­ried at the end, that’s bizarre. But the premise of

Love Is­land is quite sweet re­ally — boy fan­cies girl, will they, won’t they, do they, don’t they? You’re watch­ing the for­ma­tion of a re­la­tion­ship and, be they body beau­ti­ful or not, that’s the kind of thing we’re all in­ter­ested in in real life.

…in­ter­view­ing celebri­ties

Some are just go­ing through the mo­tions but then it’s a case of be­ing re­ally well-re­searched and be­ing able to tap into some­thing that might ig­nite them, or get a laugh from them. A laugh is as good an in­sight as any­thing be­cause you’ve got through to them.

...com­pul­sory Ir­ish in schools

You have to put some value on what’s cul­tur­ally rich but if I was Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion to­mor­row, I’d make the oral 80% of the exam. I’ve never met a kid who has gone to the Gaeltacht and left with less of an ap­pre­ci­a­tion or abil­ity or flour­ish for the lan­guage. Three weeks of im­mer­sion and you can learn more than 14 years of syl­labus.


I have two sis­ters, both amaz­ing. Roe, who’s younger than me, is a jour­nal­ist and writer and a Ful­bright scholar. Gen­der pol­i­tics is her thing and she’s in­cred­i­bly smart. Aoife has a PhD and is a univer­sity lec­turer and she’s only a year older than me. So, yeah, I feel a bit of an un­der­achiever.

…be­ing claimed by Lim­er­ick

I have been de­scribed as a Lim­er­ick man and I was born there but only be­cause mam and dad were teach­ing there. I think I was there about five min­utes and they moved back to Dublin. Noth­ing wrong with Lim­er­ick but I’m a Dub.


If I could play one com­plete al­bum on the show it would be Michael Jack­son’s great­est hits. I’m a huge fan. But other than that I’m an in­die kid.

...so­cial me­dia

I find it quite tax­ing. The de­fault on Twit­ter seems to be real an­i­mos­ity with­out any ci­vil­ity. It’s a nec­es­sary evil.

…mak­ing more doc­u­men­taries

It would have to be some­thing I’m very in­ter­ested in. I’m fas­ci­nated by Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. I flew to New York in 2008 for the an­nounce­ment of the elec­tion re­sults in Times Square and there was a lovely sense of young peo­ple be­ing po­lit­i­cally en­gaged and in­spired by some­thing. Obama hadn’t achieved any­thing yet but he had used good rhetoric and made peo­ple feel good and now it’s the op­po­site — ter­ri­ble rhetoric mak­ing feel ter­ri­ble. I’d like to ex­plore how that hap­pened.

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