Marissa Lucchesi: ‘I've Dublin blood, but a Dundalk heart’
Marissa Lucchesi is a radio presenter with Dundalk FM. Originally from Dublin, she has made Dundalk her home since arriving in the 1990s
WHAT'S THE FUNNIEST INTERVIEW YOU'VE EVER BEEN a PART OF?
Would that be funny haha, or funny peculiar? The latter would have to be a national newspaper columnist that got it into his head that I was part of a subversive organisation and decided to take the lead and grill me, even though I'd called him - Awkward and short. Funny haha was most definitely with Dee from Dundalk and Andrea from Ardee of Dirtbirds fame. Andrea's a big fan of Town Talk apparently.
WHAT ANNOYS YOU ABOUT DUNDALK?
The appalling reputation it has nationally, which is completely unjustified and rooted in ignorance.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
To paraphrase Morrissey, I've Dublin blood but a Dundalk Heart. I was born and raised in the capital and it took more than a quarter of a century of wandering before I found my spiritual home here 26 years ago (if you care to do the math my age is in there).
I married a pretty well known half Italian, was adopted by his clan, which we increased by one, and the rest as they say...
WHEN DID YOU START WITH DUNDALK FM?
8th April 2013 - Very precise I know, but it was the day Maggie Thatcher headed for her eternal reparation so the date is ingrained.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY OF DUNDALK FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD?
None. I didn't even know it existed. In the part of Dublin I hail from there was a general perception that the border started just north of St Peter's Church in Drogheda, which we did visit far too many times on our annual school tour.
I still have the nightmares to prove it. We were always very quickly shepherded back onto the tour bus in case a Saracen came driving down Fair Street.
WHAT POSITIVE CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN IN DUNDALK IN RECENT YEARS?
I landed in Dundalk shortly before the first IRA ceasefire and back then it was a completely different Town.
In the intervening period I have witnessed its transformation into the amazing vibrant, confident, socially inclusive, multicultural city in everything but official status that it is today.
Employment opportunities have increased, the DKIT has expanded exponentially, it is bursting at the seams with talented artists, actors, musicians, sportspeople and all manner of other creatives, we have excellent public amenities, the country's premier football team, Amy Broadhurst, and the greatest little radio station on the planet. Best of all though,
Dundalk has managed to retain that great sense of community cohesion and civic generosity that often evades larger urban areas. In short. We Rock. C'mon Da Town!
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE TOWN WHAT WOULD IT BE?
That reputation I refer to above, and I'm working on it, believe me.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY OFF?
An early morning read in bed (make sure there is no typo on that one). Dining out for breakfast.
A bit of retail therapy. A good perusal around Roe River Books. Mid afternoon coffee in any one of the wonderful coffee shops Dundalk has to offer. More retail therapy. An aperitivo in one of my favourite bars. Dining out with friends.
The best night always round off in the kitchen of Casa Lucchesi down in Happy Valley, surrounded by friends and family, dancing to a carefully chosen Spotify playlist, that always includes Proud Mary, before we launch into the obligatory sing song!!!!!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO SOCIALISE IN DUNDALK?
I may have just answered that one, but there's a few additions. An Tain for theatre, anywhere for a decent gig, my sister-in-law Anita's for a family do because she knows how to lay on a spread, The Vinegarmans for rugby matches, The Bartender because I love it, any of the great pubs in Seatown when I'm in homebird mode, and entertaining at ours because it's what Alvaro and I do...