Niall Fergus is a keen runner and coach and works in childcare as a pre-school teacher here in Dundalk. He is a member of North East Runners
What’s your favourite thing about Dundalk?
The people of Dundalk are my favourite thing about the town and where we are located on the map - we have the coast, close to Dublin and Belfast. We are in a great spot location-wise.
What would your perfect day in the local area be — and why?
My perfect day would be to do a nice run, let’s say on a Saturday, do the local Parkrun at 9.30am, and have a chat with everyone after it. Then home have a fry with my wife Niamh. Then go out for a look in some shops go up Clanbrassil Street; then go for a nice walk to somewhere like Clogherhead, Ravensdale or Templetown (our real favourite). Later go down and see my mum and sister and then have a big nice family meal with all invited. Nothing better than having nice food and sharing stories. This would be my perfect day; seeing all that are closest to me.
What would you like to change about Dundalk?
I would love to get Clanbrassil Street back to its prime, but I think the town is too big and the Marshes holds its own. I could talk about how big Dundalk is and how the Marshes is the focal point, but that’s a debate for another time.
What plans do you have for the rest of year?
Looking at a new venture that I will keep quiet about for now, but will open up about in a month or so, when I know all is in place. I’m really excited about it, it’s always something I have wanted to do.
How would you describe Dundalk people?
The people of Dundalk are good nice and friendly people.
What do like to do to let off some steam in Dundalk?
I’m a runner so my answer is to go for a good running session! When you come back from doing a tough speed session and you lead the pack and are the top runner or win a race or do a PB there is no better feeling!!
What’s your first memory of Dundalk?
My first memory, or a great memory of mine, is when I was younger and I played with the Young Irelands.
We had a great team and great team spirit and we won basically every game, lost very few, but when we were u10s to until probably u16s we would go round all the local streets beeping horns and with our hands and trophy out from the cars going round Greenacres, Oaklawns, Cluan Enda my home street and getting chips from Tony’s in Greenacres after.
When I was younger I loved playing out in the street and playing until 10 or 11 at night those were the days.
Completely different to the way in which kids live now.
What's your favourite story you've heard about Dundalk?
It’s a tough one, there are a few, but obviously Stephen Staunton was a great soccer player but also played with the Clans in earlier years and just when he was 16 he scored the winning goal in 1985 Senior championship final to win them their first senior championship final in 26 year; and then a year later he went to Liverpool.
He was some Gaelic player and great soccer player too, of course.
What's your favourite Dundalk slang/phrase?
Come on the Town! Or
What’s the craic?
Where is your favourite pub in Dundalk and why?
The Bartender is a nice quiet pub, with nice beers. The candles add to the character of the Bartender, - the candles make the Bartender what it is, bit unique. The candle wax dripping down with the night going on.
What do you think of the local sports scene?
The local sports scene is good in Dundalk; it could be better! I think since I have started running my thoughts on sport has widened. Of course soccer, rugby and GAA will always be the big ones, but my sports life is centred around running now.
But there are other sports like cycling, swimming, tennis etc. However when I was younger I didn’t think much of other sports, but I fell in love with running the last 5-6 years; I am competitive and I love trying to be the best!
But on another matter; we need a running track in Dundalk so hopefully they will push on and start it this year. We have great facilities - clubs like Quay Celtic FC, Bellurgan FC and other GAA facilities - we need to get going on our new development of the GAA grounds in Dundalk too, it all sounds positive!
But for kids I would let them try every type of sport and they can narrow it down when they're older. Sport is so important for children socially, physically and to keep them away from the screens!