My Holidays


Finbar Wright, Singer and Songwriter

Your earliest holiday memory?

Going at the age of 10 with one of my brothers to Barryroe, in west Cork, to stay with our cousins. They were both unmarried farmers, and they spoiled us completely. They kept guinea hens, and we used to have great fun hunting them off the trees at night into the hen house. Like all youthful memories, it is full of horse rides, endless sunshine and jelly and ice cream.

Your worst holiday?

The south of Spain just before I finally decided to leave the priesthood. I was miserable at the time and woeful company for my friends. I couldn't wait to come home.

Your best holiday?

Santa Monica, in California, in 2002. My son and daughter were just old enough to enjoy everything about Hollywood, and it all began after a performance with the Irish Tenors at the Hollywood Bowl.

My wife, Angela, loves art galleries, I love museums and the sea, the children loved the sun and the film studios - Los Angeles has it all.

Your favourite place in Ireland?

The Old Head of Kinsale, near which I grew up. A wild and beautiful landscape lashed by the sea. Americans would pay us to sit on donkeys and pose for pictures.

If budget or work was no restriction, what would be your dream holiday?

I have never visited Russia or any of the countries with the strange-sounding names to the south of it - Kazakhstan, all the other "stans" - and Mongolia. It would be a fascinating journey through ancient civilisations which have retained their traditions.

If you had your pick, who would you bring on holiday with you?

Willie Nelson is a great old warrior, and, with him and his guitar, we could busk the world over.

What book would you recommend to read on holiday?

Picasso's Warby Russell Martin - a great insight into Spain, the painter and his famous piece Guernica.

Where will you spend your next holiday?

I'm presently planning on taking the Glacier Express up through the Swiss Alps, where I hope to meet up with James Galway to work on my yodelling technique.

In conversation with Fiona Gartland