Bernard McGrath… is Irish and was born in 1958. He is married with one child. He is a former lecturer in Irish studies and currently teaches at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Harrogate.
Bernard’s claim to fame includes:
Nearly related to Michael Collins!… My uncle John White of Gowna was related to the Kiernan’s of Granard, who in turn are related to Kitty Kiernan, who was Mick Collin’s fiancé. Unfortunately for me events in County Cork put paid to the claim to be actually related to Michael Collins.( he was shot dead in an ambush during the Irish civil war)
Spoke to Ralph Fiennes in a toilet!… I met him in the toilet at The Irish Post Community Awards function in a big London Hotel, I spoke to him, but evidently overawed he said nothing back.
Met Dervla Kirwin!… At the same function as Ralph Fiennes (not in the toilet) and had a similar effect on her powers of speech.
Met Mary O’Rourke when she was Minister for Education…When I was Education Officer for the Federation of Irish Societies, I wanted to meet the Minister as part of our visit to the Irish Government. The Irish Embassy in London fixed everything up apart from Mary O’Rourke. No way was she available!
A country and western band manager we met up with in The Greville Arms Hotel in Granard managed to achieve what the Embassy and Irish Department of Education couldn’t.
Got to shake the Presidents hand’s… When Mary Robinson was An Uachtaran she came on a semi official visit to different Irish Centres in Britain, got to meet her in Leeds Irish centre then. Not to be outdone, Mary McAleese did a similar thing and I met her too.