Louise O’Reilly is chief executive of the Business to Arts charity that encourages private sector support for the arts through corporate partnerships. She works with businesses like Bank of Ireland, Accenture, CBRE, ESB, and Arthur Cox to SMEs across the country to promote engagement with the arts and greater social impact.
01 What was your earliest ambition?
Initially to be in a Busby Berkeley musical, then to produce something on that scale
02 It’s our round. What are you having?
A glass of Pommery champagne or a pint of Guinness
03 Social media platform of choice?
LinkedIn for work and I subscribe to podcasts, media newsletters, and substacks for commentary
O4 A mentor or someone who inspired you?
A pair of teachers I had in primary school had spent the summer volunteering in Africa in 1982, and one Friday afternoon when they came back, they got us to tuck our chairs under those hexagonal desks and put on Toto’s ‘Africa’ and got us up dancing on the tables. Even the head nun coming in couldn’t stop them or us. An early inspirational moment about collective sheer abandon, communing through dance, and anti-authoritarianism. Age six
05 If you could be born into another time and place, where and when would it be?
Despite teenage romanticism around the 1930s and 1950s, I know I really need to be here and now
06 Favourite writers?
Claire Keegan, Nick Cave, Nancy Harris for The Dry, all the writers of Succession
07 A film you’d watch again tonight?
LA Confidential. Such a seductive and cynical neo-noir. I’ve probably watched it 20 times
08 Is there an unsung hero you’d like to thank?
Anyone working a minimum-wage service job.
09 Something that no longer happens that you miss?
Scéal Bakery will no longer be selling from Fumbally Stables and that’s going to break my weekend breakfast-in-bed heart
10 How physically fit are you?
Working on it
11 Favourite ad?
Full of nostalgia for the ESB ‘Going Home’ ad from the ‘80s
12 What do you find most irritating in other people?
13 A brand to which you feel some loyalty?
Creme de la Mer
14 Someone you might be starstruck to meet?
I was dumbstruck when I ran into Tilda Swinton coming out of the showers at Glastonbury
15 Something that recently brought a tear to your eye?
Rewatching the ending of An Cailín Ciúin
16 Something that recently got your goat?
The path outside my house was recently repaved and the job was appalling. Half-assed efforts annoy me
17 What would be your fantasy act of heroism?
Answering this makes me uncomfortable as it infers a public act for credit. If I was very wealthy, I’d donate my money to support the arts and social enterprises in various ways, but I’d try to do it pretty discreetly
18 You’ve won the Euromillions and disappeared. Where might we find you?
The Isle of Skye in Scotland
19 Someone or something that strikes you as beautiful?
The joyful face of an artist or performer thrilled with the reception they are getting after putting their heart and soul into their work
20 “Here lies Louise O’Reilly…” Complete your epitaph…
“Doing death in style”