Santa Claus Ambassador of Christmas
When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up? When I was small, all I wanted was to be on ‘The Late Late Toy Show’, but then I couldn’t choose what toys I would want to show! I want to show all of them! So, I settled on hopefully being Gay Byrne one day. But Pat Kenny came along, and then Ryan Tubridy just to ruin my chances.
Tell us about your career progression to your role today: My obvious love of toys led me to wanting one thing above all, giving toys to everyone in the audience! So, I have made the world my audience and I get to deliver all the toys personally.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do? I love travelling! I always thought to myself I’ve never been one to stay in the same place for too long. So, I only stay in the North Pole for 364 days a year and then I do my bit of travelling for the rest of the year. Luckily it fits right in with my job description.
What motivates you? Christmas music. If I am ever feeling low, I simply tell Alexa to play Christmas hits on Spotify and remember what I work towards every year! I’m also a zumba fan.
What advice would you give your 15 year old self? Don’t stress about the Junior Cert so much. But stop slacking, you won’t get that A in Home Economics from sitting on your arse watching ‘The Polar Express’ in June!
If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing? Hosting the Toy Show every night of the year!
What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date? Every Christmas is greater than the last. It just keeps getting better.
Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life? My friend Paul. He’s very hard-working.
What is the life dream now? To make sure that every child’s life is full of happiness at Christmas time.
How do you switch off? I love a good podcast while taking a bath. Have you heard the Voice of West Cork? It’s great.
What is your favourite Cork memory? It would have to be in 1978, when the first Jazz Festival was held! I am delighted that is has become an annual event, and I have never missed one since.
What is your favourite place in Cork? Just one? Well, most recently I have fallen in love with the Marina Market. It has everything you could want under the same roof! I can’t get enough of the Dinky Donuts, watching them get freshly cooked in front of your eyes! They are just perfectly crispy, and I get a generous helping of chocolate on top.
Do you have a favourite quote or motto? “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
When are you at your happiest? It has to be on Christmas morning, knowing all the little boys and girls in the world will be waking up to Christmas presents from me.
What is your hidden talent? I can list the counties in Ireland alphabetically in under 30 seconds.
What might we be surprised to know about you? I don’t like Michael Buble. I’m more of a Kelly Clarkson man myself. But don’t tell Mrs Claus! She’ll have my head!
Anything else you’d like to share with us? If I could, I would like to make a request to the children of Cork. There may be many children this year who have just moved to your school or to your town from a country called Ukraine. I need your help to make these children and their families feel as welcome as possible. If you know anyone from Ukraine, make sure you spread Christmas joy to them, maybe share some of your toys, or play fun games with them. We need to make sure they feel at home.
Name and position: Santa Claus, Christmas Ambassador
Age: To be honest with you, I lost count when the candles stopped fitting on my birthday cake!
Lives: The North Pole
Family: Mrs Claus is around here somewhere but she likes to make herself scarce this time of year. I consider all of the elves to be our family too, they certainly act like children sometimes!
Pets: I have 8 reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. Hang on, how many is that? Am I missing one?
Favourite thing about Cork: The generosity of the children from Cork. They never ask for too much from me, and I love to see the pre-loved toys that are given to the charity shops. It makes my heart warm to know that the Cork children want to share the fun and love that they once got from a toy from me
Least favourite thing about Cork: The size of it! It takes me half the night to get from Cork city down to West Cork and I haven’t even left the county
One thing you’d change about Cork: I’d leave the ferris wheel up all year round