Aideen O’Grady, Owner and Director, Starcamp

Name and position: Aideen O’Grady, Owner and Director, Starcamp

Age: Just finished with my 30s!

Lives: Carrigaline

Family: Hubby Paul, three handsome sons and my baby girl! Parents, brother and family all living in Carrigaline.

Pets: One Golden Retriever, Duke. Had three gold fish until last week - one has mysteriously disappeared from the fish tank.

Favourite thing about Cork: The people really are like nowhere else in Ireland, or in the world. 

Least favourite thing about Cork: The weather

One thing you’d change about Cork: The horrendous traffic situation in Carrigaline

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

It changed on a daily basis - everything from a pilot to a singer, an architect to a priest!

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I began my working life in publishing and the media in Dublin. I spent my earliest years in Hotpress magazine, then ran my own woman's glossy for a few years called IQ magazine, before moving to Hollywood where I spent some time in the movie business.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

I adore music, dance, drama, art, creativity, and children, so coming up with a new and exciting programme with my incredible team each year for our Starcampers that will excite, exhilarate and liberate is one of the highlights. I also love being part of The Elaine show on Virgin Media, that's just gas craic altogether. And finally - I love working with hubby (most of the time!!).  

What motivates you?

I honestly believe I was just born motivated! Even when I try not to be, my mind wanders back there. Also, my fab team in the office.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

Don't give up your hobbies.

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

I would have married Prince William and I'd be hanging out in the ol’ Palace.

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

In life, marrying a man that surpassed my dreams and creating four incredible little people that are now our best buddies. Career-wise, going on Dragon's Den was one that I keep being reminded of.

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

My parents - my rocks, my inspiration and my backbone.

What is the life dream now?

Happiness, contentment and peace of mind (I never thought I'd answer that question like that in my early years!). With these tools it doesn't matter what you're doing or where you are.

How do you switch off?

Sorry, what's that?

What is your favourite Cork memory?

 The smell and taste of summer on Garretstown beach with my little bro - suncream, sandwiches, laughter, Taytos, water and sand.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

My home, but in second place would be where we got engaged, Ballybrannigan Strand in East Cork. In third place, Inchydoney.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

Career motto: ‘Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity!’ Life quote: ‘Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated!’

When are you at your happiest?

Throwing a knees-up at home, surrounded by our incredible friends, family, turning up the volume, fighting over song choices and laughing out loud at how hilarious they all are.

Any regrets?


What is your hidden talent?

Impersonating! Apparently I do an ok Miriam O’Callaghan, genuinely!

What might we be surprised to know about you?

Much to the absolute dismay of my parents, I lasted two whole hours in college when I was 18