Keelin Shanley co-presents RTÉ’s Six One News. She worked as a reporter/presenter on Prime Time for over 10 years and made award-winning documentaries. She presented budget and election coverage, Morning Edition and The Consumer Show. She was also a reporter for Radio France International and CNN World Report. She studied biochemistry at TCD.
01 When are you happiest?
Swimming at the Forty Foot makes any concern disappear and lifts the whole day. There’s nothing like coming home from work on a Friday evening sitting down with family for good food and a movie or a series on Netflix
02 What’s your most treasured possession?
My mother’s engagement ring which she left me – I wear it all the time.
03 Your social media platform of choice?
I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. I love it for flow of information and occasional hilarity, but I should probably spend less time scrolling aimlessly
04 The worst job you’ve ever done?
Killing rats. It wasn’t really a job. It was part of a research project into schizophrenia I was working on in Bologna after leaving college but pretty gruesome especially since they kept moving after death. I also found being a chamber maid pretty tough
05 What ambitions do you still have?
That’s a tough one. I’m happy presenting the news and especially love being part of the newsroom on days when big stories break and you get to be part of a big team springing into action. I also love radio as a medium, I enjoy the longer interviews, it’s something I’d like to do more of over the long term.
06 Favourite writers?
Jennifer Johnston, William Boyd, Donal Ryan, Elizabeth Short and Anne Patchett. I’ve just read Luke O’Neill’s book, A Short History of Life and Death. If you’ve any interest at all in science and the world around us, it’s a must read
07 A film you’d watch again tonight?
Either Godfather Part II or Clueless
08 What do some people think about you that isn’t true?
People often think that I know a lot about the news we cover and the questions I ask. But often I genuinely don’t know the answers and am as keen as the viewer to understand more
09 What keeps you awake at night?
Now the kids have finally decided their own beds are better than ours, the dog has stepped into the gap and comes scratching at our bedroom door at all hours of night
10 Which words do you overuse?
Extraordinary, indeed and pudding
11 Favourite ad?
I really liked the ‘Always Like A Girl’ campaign. Sometimes brands exploit social movements, but this was done with some passion. I’m also a fan of the Lidl LGFA ads, especially the short film they released recently on social media
12 Favourite gadget?
It has to be my cursed iPhone
13 A brand experience that disappointed you?
I don’t really know what ‘brand experience’ means. I’ll ask my husband (Conor Ferguson) – he’s bound to know
14 What living person do you most admire?
I have endless respect for Olivia O’Leary
15 Most embarrassing experience?
When I got married I tripped and fell off the altar sending my skirt over my head – not my finest hour
16 Someone or something that strikes you as beautiful?
It might sound sugary, but it has to be my kids. Also, Dougal, the aforementioned dog
17 What would be your fantasy act of heroism?
I’d like to straighten out inequality in Irish society. I worked for years on social documentaries for Prime Time, dealing with topics from drug abuse, to prison to the sex industry. I saw first hand how a child’s future is all too often set by the family and environment into which they’re born. It’s not just about money, it’s about opportunity, support and having role models
18 What would your younger self think of you today?
I think I’d be very surprised. TV was never something I saw ahead. I was quite a shy child and adolescent, I always thought I’d end up as a scientist. I’d probably be disappointed that I don’t listen to The Smiths quite as much
19 If you had to rate your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
I think I’ve been pretty lucky in life so far. A few ups and downs like anyone but overall lucky, especially with my husband, my kids and my family and friends. So it would have to be a seven
20 You’re on Death Row, what’s your last meal?
Steak, garlic green beans, creme Catalan, Comte cheese, fizzy Haribos and Cote du Rhone