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My Longford Life: Renowned local engineer Mark Cunningham

Mark Cunningham proudly holds his son Mark Junior aloft at the newly redeveloped Pizza Hut premises in Longford town

Mark Cunningham proudly holds his son Mark Junior aloft at the newly redeveloped Pizza Hut premises in Longford town

1. What's your idea of a perfect day or perfect weekend in Longford?

This time of year bringing in the square bales of hay on the farm with Mam and Dad and my son Mark. A super split ice cream after. Heaven.

2. Who has made the greatest contribution to Longford in your lifetime-and why?

I think our local musicians Mick Flavin, Declan Nerney and The Late Noel Cassidy have made an enormous contribution with their music. Them and The Marquee in Drumlish are known worldwide.

3. What's your first Longford memory?

Going to see Back To The Future in the old Odeon Cinema with my mam and brother Darren. We still watch it anytime it’s on tv. I could have done with that car a few times since myself!

4. What's your favourite part of the county?

With my job I’ve travelled down nearly every lane and road in the county and must say there’s lovely scenery everywhere but apart from Ballinamuck my favourite place is Aughnacliffe.

5. Do you have a favourite local writer or author (or artist or musician)?
My Dad was in the same class as Mick Flavin and was, like I, good friends with Noel Cassidy so I have a soft spot for their music.

Also read: Longford to receive €3m regeneration boost

6. What about a local walk-or view?
I love the views around Lough Gowna especially Inch Island and also the islands on The River Shannon across from Newtowncashel.

7. What do you think gives Longford its unique identity?
I find Longford to be full of decent hardworking people.

8. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Longford today?
The sensationalised negative media attention that Longford Town receives most of which is exaggerated. Where are all these armed police?!

9. If you had the power to do one thing in, or about Longford, what would it be?
I’d create a business park for small and medium sized industrial and manufacturing businesses on the edge of Longford Town. Longford is unique in that it is serviced with an excellent transport network with the N4, N5 and rail all in close proximity and I believe it would create great employment and would benefit the town and county immensely.

10. What was your first job?

Anthony Mulleady gave me my first job painting the gates at the old dump in Drumlish. I graduated from there to back of the bin lorry for a few summers. It was a great experience but I was glad to dust down the school bag come September.

11. Who has made the greatest contribution to your life?
My parents Packie Joe & Margaret. They’ve been brilliant to myself, my brother Darren & sister Laura. I can’t thank them enough.

GALLERY| The Longford agricultural show and country fair is fast approaching

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