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27th Aug 2019

PODCAST: Footballer Philly McMahon Walks Talks Business, Education and Philanthropy

Brian Dillon

Philly McMahon

Philly McMahon explains how he “would like to think that me and others from Ballymun can pave the way for people to believe that they can go on and further their education.”

The Irish are a nation of storytellers. Our stories are embedded in us, and in our landscape. Tales and Trails podcast is a brand new and immersive audio experience that invites you to walk the Irish countryside with the nation’s most interesting people.

On this episode, we walked the Rinmaher Forest Trail, in Portumna, Co Galway. (Find the full trail guide here).

Our guest is footballer and entrepreneur, Philly McMahon. Philly never dreamed that he would be a business owner when he was in school, but it’s the same grit and determination that he displays on the pitch that stands to him in business.

He has also lent his voice to some amazing philanthropical work, which he talks about while taking on the Portumna Forest Park Rinmaher Walking Trail in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, a 10km loop featuring breath-taking views of Lough Derg and amazing natural diversity

Philly has enjoyed a successful career in both the sporting world and the business world, having set up a fitness company ten years ago. Philly spoke to us about his return to education and owning a successful business.

“I wasn’t very academic in school. When I decided to go for a degree, I had two options: go and repeat my Leaving Cert or wait another two years to be a mature student. I was broke at the time, but I decided to repeat my Leaving Cert.

“At that time, I was going into my repeats in an Audi A4 and I had €2 a day. But it really gave me this persevering attitude.

“I always messed at school. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough in certain subjects. So I would be put outside the class. That was my way of getting out of it.

“I’m really lucky that I got an opportunity to do it again. It certainly helped me develop my company.

“I knew that me having that degree would help somebody else, maybe a friend or a family member. One of my good friends then went on and got a degree. And then went on and did a masters. I would like to think that me and others from Ballymun can pave the way for people to believe that they can go on and do things for their education.

“I was bold in school because I was trying to hide that I wasn’t academic. My thesis was actually about different types of intelligence. So I had good bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence, which basically means I’m very sporty. But I had poor logical and mathematical intelligence.

“I think our education system focuses on our weaknesses, which is okay, but we also need to focus on our strengths.

For Philly’s full story, recorded live on Rinmaher Forest Trail in Galway, listen to the full episode below:

For spectacular sights, invigorating sensations and unforgettable experiences, make your next short break a walking break in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Walking makes your break.

For more information or to plan your next walking break in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, visit the Tales and Trails hub here.