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The Mayor Necessities
Andrew Montague is coming to the end of his one-year term as Lord Mayor of Dublin. In a refreshingly candid interview, the Labour councillor talks about God, love, addiction, the Dublin Bike scheme which he initiated – and why we should have an elected Lord Mayor for the city.
Olaf Tyaransen, 27 Jun 2012
I think it’s actually quite an exciting time in the Church. What’s been happening is just dreadful, as is how they’ve handled things, but ordinary members of the Church know that themselves – and they’re stuck in a real dilemma because they’ve a very dogmatic Church and these are the rules and, no, you don’t get to decide the rules. And yet a lot of people in the Church want to change things. It’s a bit like our economy. It’s in such big trouble that there’s new possibilities emerging.
What about Brady?
I just think that the more that we on the outside criticise Brady, the less chance there is for reform. I’d rather give them the breathing space to get stuck in and make changes.
What were you like in school?
I was pretty good in school. I wanted to do Veterinary Medicine so I worked my ass off to get the points I needed. I didn’t get it the first time, repeated, and got a really good Leaving Cert the second time. My favourite thing about school was playing soccer in the yard, on the tarmac – with a tennis ball – from 4 o’clock until it was dark every day. That was the thing I loved most about school.
Were you successful with women as a teenager?
I remember the first girl I went out with for a couple of months in the summer when I was about 13 or 14. But I wouldn’t say I was particularly successful. I stumbled through things just like most people do. So, it took me a while to get there – but I’m getting married in July!
Your fiancée is named Sinéad Ahern. She’s not related to Bertie, by any chance?
She’s not of that family, but she is very political. She’d be involved in the Labour Party, that’s how I met her. She was director of elections for Rebecca Moynihan, a fellow councillor on Dublin City Council. So we met after a council meeting – January 21, 2009 it was. After our budget meeting we would traditionally go out for a drink, and that’s when I met her.
What age were you when you had your first drink?
I was about 16. I used to go to the Grove, on the northside of Dublin, and we would’ve had a couple of beers on the way down there. I never was a big drinker. If I did drink too much, I’d just be sick. I’m not teetotal, but I’d only be an occasional drinker. Especially this year, because I’m the Mayor, and because I have to get up and perform every day, I’m just not drinking. If I was out with friends it might be different. I don’t drink at public functions because I want to keep my wits about me, and I’ve always got to think about the next morning.