Cullen O’Gorman, Mairead Maire (Mairead)
Date of Birth: 26th April 1944
Place of Birth: Duncormick, Co. Wexford
Date Interviewed: 30th March 2010
Summary: Mairead Cullen O’Gorman’s father was a farmer and publican in Duncormick. Her mother came from Co. Kerry. Her grandfather was the last inhabitant to leave the Blasket Islands. As Irish was the only language spoken in their home Mairead did not learn English until she went to the local national school. When nuns came to her school to recruit students Mairead took up the offer and went to Paris to study. The plane journeys back and forth instilled a love of flying and she dreamed of becoming an air hostess. She decided to return to Ireland, took a modelling course and moved to Dublin. She was put on standby for the Miss Ireland competition in 1964 and, to her surprise, won! This led to trips abroad and participation in the Miss World event. She became an air hostess with BEA and moved to London. She was the first hostess to deliver instructions in Irish to passengers on BEA’s new Trident flight to Ireland. When she married she had to give up her job and returned to Co. Wexford. Although busy raising a family she developed an interest in various crafts and became very skilled at quilting. Mairead talks of her crafts, her books and her latest passion – the ukulele!