Destined for a career as an opera singer in the conservatoire, her career aspirations were cut short by a debilitating illness.
In she founded the Belfast Buildings Trust, helping to save and restore some Londondsrry historic building in Belfast. In this wide-ranging interview Fionnuala talks about the futility of one-sidedness and questions whether there is such a thing as certainty. Her warmth, her genuine interest in people and her search for understanding key issues in life make her compelling company.
Barry: Hello and welcome to "Barry Phillips Meets".
My name is Barry Phillips. During her time at university, she was active in the student politics and was elected to serve as vice president of Londondfrry Students Union and the Escort Hartlepool men convener of both the Union of Students in Ireland and the National Union of Students in the UK. Alongside her academic studies, Fionnuala studied voice and opera with leading teachers in Belfast, Dublin, and London, but was robbed of a promising career at the Conservatoire by an illness.
However, she maintains her passionate interest in opera and the arts, and currently serves as vice chair of Northern Ireland Opera with specific responsibility for young and emerging artists.
SinceSiegfried and Morley dating has enjoyed a highly successful career in public and government affairs. She's headed up major initiatives for the UK and Northern Ireland governments, including Taste of Ulster, the award-winning worldwide campaign to promote food and hospitality from Northern Ireland. Inshe founded the Belfast Buildings Trust, a registered cross-community charity that rescues and regenerates historic buildings for community benefit.
Her work brought her to the attention of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and she has since served as a royal trustee of several of his charities and a senior advisor to his household.
When researching for this interview, I spoke to a senior member of the Ulster Orchestra who had heard Fionnuala speak at one of their engagements. He said, and I quote, "She was one of the most engaging, motivating speakers I have ever heard". Barry: Thank you.
And I just wonder what stands out most for you in your mind regarding your childhood and your childhood in that area of Northern Ireland? Fionnuala: My childhood was a very happy and secure childhood. Truth to tell, I grew up on actually both sides of the border. Because although I was born in Derry, my parents had a home in Donegal. So that was very much the other side of my childhood and my life.
Strangely enough, despite everything that happened in Derry, and those were, as you say, dark days, my father was active in nationalist politics with Cowboy boots in Basingstoke old Nationalist Party.
And some people may just remember Eddie McAteer. So the house was always a hub of conversation, and debate, and discussion, but we remained remarkably untouched and unscathed by the happenings of Derry really from '68 onwards. Winstons Weymouth massage said, I think none of us remained untouched or unscathed after Bloody Sunday, because I think that impinged and imprinted itself indelibly on our psyches.
And I think to this day, it is a scar, and is a difficult and traumatic issue for so many people.
But I think my first experience of the raw sectarianism that sadly has been Northern Ireland in the past didn't actually happen until I came to university in Belfast.
So my memories of Derry are very happy, very secure, lots of musical and cultural things.
They do say Derry is the city of song, and that undoubtedly was my experience. Barry: Yes. To browse Academia.
Barry Phillips Meets... The Lord-lieutenant Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle MBE CBE
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Log In Sign Up. Donegal County Donegal is a county in Ireland. Heinz Duthel. ❶As the economy rises out of the recession we have all had to endure, people want us to build on that year legacy. He spent two seasons at Wigan, claiming Londonderry County Borough ok gentlemens club player of the year award in the latter, and then returned to the Premier League Wolverhampton working mens club joining West Bromwich Albion in June That day included an inward investment seminar, organised under the auspices of Derry city council and Gehtlemens borough council and their respective chambers of commerce, with valuable help from Invest Northern Ireland.
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So can I ask you a very basic question? And as you talk to me, I can almost hear the opera in your voice.
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She was appointed Lord Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast in Growing up in Derry/Londonderry in the '60s and '70s, that was a very. issues when I was vice president with responsibility for clubs and societies.
Barry: Okay. the conversation I had with this gentleman from Ulster Orchestra.
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