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Cork Profile: Eamon Nash

Thursday, 9th November, 2017 12:52pm

Name and position: Eamon Nash, Music Therapy Manager, Cope Foundation

Lives: Carrigaline

Family: My beautiful wife Giselle and our two wonderful children Noah and Jessica.

Favourite thing about Cork:

There is history and a story about every corner of the city.

Towards the end of the summer Giselle and I decided that we would become tourists in Cork City for the day, so the four of us headed off and visited some of the tourist attractions in the city centre. The history of the church, the Shandon area and the Butter Museum was fascinating.

Least favourite thing about Cork:

It has to be the traffic. I live in Carrigaline and traffic is a nightmare.

One thing you’d change about Cork:

It was very sad to see a lot of well established shops and restaurants close down in the city centre over the last few years. Today is much happier time and business seems to be thriving in the city centre. I’d be very hopeful that change continues and that more business come into the city centre.

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

I loved sport and music growing up. Unfortunately I was distinctly average so I was never destined to become a professional star! I was slightly better at music so that’s the area I went into.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I always had an interest in working in the area of disability. While I was in school and studying for my Bachelor of Music in CIT I volunteered and worked with many different inclusive community groups and summer programmes for people with disabilities. After completing my undergraduate degree in music I started teaching for the County Cork School of Music and CADA Performing Arts. During this time I always kept a link with the different inclusive community programmes. After seeing the difference music could make in all peoples lives, regardless of ability, I decided to study for a masters in music therapy in University of Limerick. After receiving my masters I started work in Cope Foundation as a music therapist. Over time my role has grown and evolved in the organisation.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

There are two parts of my job I absolutely love. The first is Music Mash Up, a community collaboration between music therapy, music education, community music and youth work for young people of all abilities and backgrounds.

The other is an early intervention music programme called ‘Junior Jammerz’. Here we work with children aged between 0 – 6 years, their siblings and their parents and sometimes grandparents using music and musical games to support and develop social and emotional skills.

What motivates you?

In my personal life most definitely my family. At work it’s knowing that what you are doing is having a positive impact in someone elses life.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Learn from the past, keep moving forward and never give up.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

Music as an art form has rule, structures, form, texture and I really like that about it. I think I would be working in a job that would have similar attributes to that. Architecture springs to mind but I’m not that good at drawing!

What is your greatest life achievement to-date?

My two beautiful children Noah and Jessica. Everything else is insignificant compared to them.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

My parents. They have always been been there for me and my family and have been very supportive of everything we do.

What is the life dream now?

Win the lotto and retire!! Only joking. A happy and healthy life for me and my family. The lotto would be nice though!!!

How do you switch off?

I enjoy running and swimming.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

In 1998 when Ocean Colour Scene played an open air gig in the Grand Parade in Cork City. I was around 16 years old and a group of us headed in on the bus. I don’t think any of us were allowed to go (sorry Mum if your reading this!) and we had the time of our lives, the city was buzzing and the band were amazing.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

That’s a hard question… there are too many places to choose from.

We brought the kids down to Garnish Island a couple of months ago. It had been years since I’d been there. There is something truly magical about that island.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

Noah, my eldest loves Dr Seuss books and we came across ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go!’ I love how it is summed up in the final two pages: “Kid, You’ll move mountains! So… be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… Get on your way!”

When are you at your happiest?

At home with Giselle and the kids. Fire lighting, TV on, feet up.

Any regrets?

Loads, but I won’t be sharing any of them here! But do you know what, nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes so it is important to learn from your mistakes, apologise when you’re in the wrong, be patient when others make mistakes and keep looking forward.

What is your hidden talent?

My kids tell me I can do a very good Donald Duck impersonation. I’m not convinced!

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I absolutely can’t handle scary films. I just can’t do it. Why would you put yourself through watching a film that will scare you? I don’t get it!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Cope Foundation is 60 years old this year and there is going to be a fantastic concert in Cork City Hall on Tuesday 14 November. All 250 young people who attend Music Mash Up programmes on a weekly basis will participate and the Wednesday teen group will be launching their latest single ‘Shine Bright Like a Star’. There will also be performances from other groups in Cope Foundation and guest appearances from well know Cork personalities including John Spillane, Rob Heffernan, Theo Dorgan, Ciarán Bermingham and Ger Wolfe. Tickets for the concert can be purchased from and we hope all of Cork will come out and help us celebrate this huge milestone birthday.

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