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Cork Independent

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Pádraig Rice, Coordinator of the Cork Gay Project

Wednesday, 7th March, 2018 4:13pm

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

First Santa, then a Garda and finally a lawyer.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I’ve been involved in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) activism for ten years. As a student in UCC I led the LGBT student society and I was very involved in the campaign for the marriage equality referendum from 2010-2015.

After completing a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Oxford, I worked as the parliamentary assistant to Independent Senator, Colette Kelleher.

Having learnt a lot about politics and policy-making I’m now back working full-time providing supports, services and social outlets for gay and bisexual men.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

Getting the opportunity to meet lots of great people every day.

What motivates you?

Knowing that the work we do has a real and significant impact on people’s lives. Be that the people who drop in for information, the people who phone the helpline or the people who attend one of the support or social groups.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Things get better! Chin up and believe in yourself!

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

I’m really interested in the law and how it can be used to improve people’s lives – so I’d probably be a lawyer.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

I had periods of depression as a teen and young adult – getting through those and learning to manage that was a big personal achievement.

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

My school teachers and college lecturers. Not anyone in particular, although a few stand out. Collectively they provided support, inspiration and motivation at different points in my life.

What is the life dream now?

To continue to be content.

How do you switch off?

Running really helps clear my mind. I try to get out for a jog every day if I can.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

The great nights spent dancing with friends in Freakscene above the Bróg.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

I love the high points that give you a view over the city and on to the green fields beyond. Places like Sunday’s Well or Patrick's Hill.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone, kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own.

When are you at your happiest?

Spending quality time with family and friends.

Any regrets?

Plenty.

What is your hidden talent?

Some say I'm a good cook.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I once won a bog snorkelling competition!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

The Cork Gay Project is always open to new people, new ideas and new partnerships – so don’t hesitate to get in touch (padraig@gayprojectcork.com).

Factfile:
Name:  Pádraig Rice
Age:  28
Location:  Glasheen
Family:  Boyfriend, Aaron O’Sullivan
Pets: None at present but hope to in the future
Favourite thing about Cork: The people
Least favourite thing about Cork:  The weather
One thing you would change about Cork: 20 more days of sunshine

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