Hello, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Áine Moriarty O’Callaghan. I was born in August 1955 and I am one of nine children. I was the fifth child, and according to Mom, I was the quietest baby. Life was not smooth for me as my mom got very sick with tuberculosis in 1959 when I was four years old. I also contracted tuberculosis and spent one and a half years in a children’s hospital in Co. Limerick.
I attended Baloonagh primary school for a few years. After that, I went working in Denny’s Bacon Factory in Tralee. Sunday night was the best night of the week as we got to go to the Brandon Hotel in Tralee with my sisters and my next-door neighbours where all the showbands used to play, i.e. Joe Dolan, Brendan Bowyer and the big Eight, Dickie Rock, Margo, Philomena Begley and I love the Indians, just to name a few.
We were in our late teens. I used to always go for a man with a car so we would get a lift home at the end of the night and spend the taxi money!
In 1982 I got married and moved to Limerick with my then-husband. We separated after a few years and I bolted to London and got a job working in a nursing home. I was a carer but everyone called me “Nurse Anne”. My favourite past-time in London was playing bingo. I made many friends there and Linda from Galway was my best friend. I am still in contact with her today.
I returned home to Ireland after twenty-two years. I always wanted to come back home to my family as I was getting older and missed them. I now live in a little house in Tralee with my two beautiful dogs Snowy and Daisy. They are my babies, I love them so much. I love country music and of course, Daniel O’Donnell is my favourite. I have attended most of his concerts in Kerry. For my 65th birthday, I got the surprise of my life from my sisters when I received a video from Daniel wishing me a happy birthday. I am so looking forward to seeing him again.
I have a few health issues. I had a hip replacement a few years ago, but nothing stops me from living my best life. I am very grateful to be able to get around. I look forward to Johnny’s Cottage every Monday night. I get great satisfaction of rising my sister Miriam about Eddie and spoiling her recipes when I get a chance. I would be very wary of doing this to Breeda as she has a car and I depend on her! Miriam and Eddie are also very good to me. Eddie gets me my dog food and Miriam is slim enough to climb in my window when I get in a spot of bother.
My friend list is getting bigger by the week. Lots of my followers recognise me on Facebook and stop to say “hello”. They all love me, I know I’m their favourite. I call it “Áine’s Cottage” instead of “Johnny’s Cottage”.
In 2022 we won the Connect Reader’s Choice Award, but let’s be fair, it was me that won it! The trophy takes pride of place on my mantelpiece.
I’m very appreciative of my family, friends and followers. I never would have imagined being recognised going to Dunnes Stores, let alone all over the world. I love saying hello to everyone so if you see me out and about, be sure to say “hi” and I’ll be thinking of you.