Irish writer and mammy of two, Aiveen Cooper, is a busy girl. Having studied zoology at Dublin’s Trinity College, the Kildare native went on to work with the Royal Irish Academy, where she wrote articles for Heritage Outlook and Wild Ireland. Her editor there, in search of a piece about Ireland’s longest river, The Shannon, contacted her to pen the feature. When completed, it was spotted by a publisher, who felt that it could be further developed into a book, with Aiveen being the one to write it. Despite having had a new baby at the time, as well as a full-time job and her commencement of a part time MSc course, she ambitiously set out to write; ‘The River Shannon: A Journey Down Ireland’s Longest River’. Traveling the length of the river, from its source in the Cuilcagh Mountains, to its entry into the Atlantic Ocean, passing through eighteen counties, over a dozen lakes, and historic towns like Drumshanbo, Athlone, Shannonbridge, Portumna, Castleconnell and Limerick, she spoke with locals and researched her history to find tales of Viking raids and Napoleonic adventures, as well as important information about power generation, tourism and transportation. With over 250 beautifully-illustrated pages about the story of ‘Shannonland, the book is a must-have for anyone interested in Ireland’s historical landscape as well as its globally-renowned natural beauty. Aiveen, welcome to ‘At The Mike Stand’.
‘The River Shannon: A Journey Down Ireland’s Longest River’, Aiveen’s beautifully photographed, incredibly informative story about the longest river in Ireland and Britain, is available to buy at Amazon.co.uk.
When’s the last time you laughed out loud?
This morning, and every morning thanks to my 3-year-old son Danny.
What act would you like to have seen perform live?
What team(s) do you support?
None really, sport isn’t my thing, Ireland in the rugby at a push.
What period in history would you most like to have visited?
Seeing as Middle Earth probably doesn’t count then Ancient Egypt (not as a slave though).
What song would you most like to have written?
Any – I have no musical talents at all!
Who or what, would make you leave a room?
Anyone associated with the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.
What decade rules (and why)?
The 80’s – my youth.
What movie role would you like to have played?
Baby in ‘Dirty Dancing’ (mainly so I could dance with Patrick Swayze).
Who’s the greatest movie star of all time?
Brendan Gleeson or Robin Williams.
Have you ever been told you looked like somebody?
Who would you most like to meet/have met?
What’s the first album you remember buying?
Big Country’s ‘Steeltown’.
Who’s your favorite Beatle?
What’s your favorite Christmas song?
Not sure if it is officially a Christmas song but Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘The Power of Love’.
Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?
Keith Richards – He is a medical miracle.
What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?
Take That are my guilty pleasure – don’t tell anyoneJ
What book can you read again and again?
‘The Hobbit’ – the first proper book I ever read and what made me think of being a writer.
What’s the greatest album ever recorded?
The Joshua Tree – not just for the music but as a reminder of great times in my life
What artists would be in your supergroup?
Freddie Mercury on vocals, Sting on bass, Dave Grohl on drums, Slash on guitar.
What sitcom character can you most identify with?
A touch of Carrie Bradshaw (the writer side), a pinch of Max from ‘Two Broke Girls’ (for her cynicism), a little bit of Monica (‘Friends’) and a sprinkling of Vivian from The Young Ones.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
Any of the 1980s greats – ‘Back to the Future’, ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘The Goonies’. It is great to be able to watch them again with my own kids.
Who’s your favorite cartoon character?
What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?
Yosemite National Park in California.
What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?
What character from literature is most like you?
Bridget Jones keeps springing to mind but I always fancied myself as Lady Arwen in ‘Lord of the Rings’.
What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?
The iPhone – it is ruining the world with antisocialism.
Who’s the funniest person who ever lived?
Billy Connolly – He’s the only comedian who made me cry with laughter.
Who’s your favorite namesake?
Not sure I have any! Alice Cooper!!