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Kate Shaughnessy, 2018 Belle of Ballincollig

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018 4:14pm


Name and position: Kate Shaughnessy, 2018 Belle of Ballincollig

Age: 20

Lives: Coolroe Meadows, Ballincollig

Family: Mom Niamh, Dad John, my brothers Niall and Darragh and our little sister Ellen

Pets: our Cockapoo, Jeff

Favourite thing about Cork: The people

Least favourite thing about Cork: The traffic 

One thing you’d change about Cork: Nothing.

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

From a young age, I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, and that’s still my dream today. I think anyone who knows me knows how long and how much I want to be a nurse.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

In 2016 after finishing my Leaving Cert, I didn’t get the points I needed and wanted for nursing, so I decided to do the FETAC Nursing Studies course in the Cork College of Commerce. When I finished in May 2017, I got a job as a healthcare assistant in Ballincollig Community Nursing Unit, where I work part time, and a place in social science in UCC where I am currently heading into second year. I feel very lucky to be in the job that I’m in and to be in social science.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

I have a great relationship with the people I work with and the people who live in the community hospital, which makes work very easy and enjoyable. We spend an awful lot of time together, so it’s important that we all get on. We all work together as a team, which always makes life a lot easier.

What motivates you?

My parents are always very supportive and encouraging of us and our dreams, so having great support behind me has always been a massive push to do as well as we can.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Just to enjoy secondary school while you can and not to worry too much about exams. Secondary school went by so quickly, and I wished I had enjoyed it more.

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

If I wasn’t in UCC doing social science, I’d probably doing public health in UCC or maybe social care in CIT.

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

My greatest achievement has to be winning the Belle of Ballincollig. It was such a nerve-wracking experience to speak publicly and put yourself out there, but it was amazing. The other 11 girls were so gorgeous, and we just had a lovely experience throughout. I was sponsored by my hairdressers in Ballincollig, Platinum, and they really went above and beyond for me. I’m delighted to have been a part of something so special.

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

Without a doubt it’s my mom Niamh. We have a very close bond and I always come to her for advice. She is one in a million, so I’m very lucky.

What is the life dream now?

To enjoy my year being the Belle of Ballincollig and do as much as I possibly can. I’d love to finish my degree and travel the world. That’s the dream for the moment anyways!

How do you switch off?

I love taking Jeff for a walk or being with friends. I’m a massive tea drinker, so having a cuppa always helps me to relax.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

From a young age, my dad has had a tradition with me of heading into town right before Christmas to see the lights, taking in the atmosphere and picking out a present for my mom. It is my favourite time of year and one of my favourite things to do with my dad.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

It has to be Ballincollig Regional Park. I live a ten minute walk from there and just love how pretty it is in such a busy town.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

‘Always find a reason to laugh - it may not add years to your life, but it will surely add life to your years.’

When are you at your happiest?

We have a mobile home in Camp in Kerry near the beach. I love it there and we head there every summer. I have such fond memories of summers there.

Any regrets?

Absolutely none.

What is your hidden talent?

Unfortunately, I don’t have any. Or at least any I have discovered yet!

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