WHAT IS YOUR FIRST KILDARE MEMORY?
My first Kildare memory is being at Donnelly’s Hollow on the Curragh. When we were children my parents would bring us out to the Curragh to explore and to run around (most likely in a bid to wear us out!).
When I was a child, I thought the hill was absolutely massive and I can remember racing my sister down what we thought then was a mountain.
We loved placing our feet into the ‘foot step’s’ in the grass which we were sure were made by Dan Donnelly himself and imagined ourselves as giants.
I still love Donnelly’s Hollow and I think the Curragh in general is a beautiful and much under utilised amenity.
It’s a great place to walk and to escape the hustle and bustle of the towns and is also a lovely place to spot wildlife.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT KILDARE?
I like the diversity of the county, it has lots of pretty villages like Ballymore Eustace and Kilcullen but also has busy towns with great shopping and dining. Kildare town itself is fast becoming a superb foodie destination while Newbridge is a great place to shop and to do business. Mostly, though I like Kildare as it’s where I’m from, my friends and family are based here and ultimately home is where the heart is!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT AND/OR PUB IN KILDARE?
I enjoy going to Keadeen in Newbridge or The Osprey Hotel in Naas for lunch it’s always consistently good and there is lots of parking. Harte’s in Kildare Town is great for a night out, the food is excellent, they change the menu all the time and the service is always friendly. Café Carlton at Newbridge Silverware and Market Kitchen in Newbridge also do a great breakfast! Who can resist poached eggs on homemade soda bread?
WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO GET INVOLVED IN THE PUBLIC RELATIONS BUSINESS?
I never had any plan to work in PR as it happens! I initially studied European Studies in the University of Limerick. In 1998, I took up a six-month contract role with RTE’s Telethon for People in Need. My role was to oversee fundraising and run various events to raise funds for people in need in Kildare. I really enjoyed the event management side of that role and had a brief insight into public relations as I had to promote each event in order to get people to attend them. It was an interesting time.
Sometime later I went back to college and studied with the IrishAcademy of Public Relations by night while also working for a small PR agency during the day. I ended up lecturing with the Academy and eventually set up my own business, O’Brien PR in 2003. We are a full-service PR and Event Management agency and provide a wide range of creative and engaging communications solutions which help businesses and organisations reach their target audiences.
We are delighted to have clients all over the world and have clients in Ireland, Dubai, The UK, The USA and continental Europe.
Every day is different, one moment we are working on a golf tournament, the next we are running a conference, doing media training or focusing on jewellery or fashion at the Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware.
It’s great to be busy, the business is growing all the time and I’m lucky to work in an industry I enjoy with people I admire.
WHAT’S YOUR IDEAL DAY IN KILDARE?
My ideal day would start with a lovely breakfast at Café Carleton or Market Kitchen in Newbridge. Then a walk around the Japanese Gardens and National Stud in Kildare with the kids and my husband.
We particularly love it in the spring when you can see the foals and it’s very interesting to see the champions at the stud too.
I really enjoy racing, but mainly when I’m at either the Curragh Racecourse or Naas Racecourse I’m working so it’s nice to go on a day off for a change so I can enjoy all the action on the track.
Fashion is important to me too and something I really enjoy, so a day out at the races offers a great excuse to dress up.
If I want to enjoy a rare pampering day for myself I head to Residence Day Spa in Naas for a luxurious facial.
Then, before heading out for dinner I might pop into Neeba Hair and Beauty on the Cutlery Road in Newbridge for Niamh or Matthew to do something with my errant hair!
For more information see www.obrienpr.com