A life less ordinary

Posted on: 8th March, 2016

Category: Features

Contributor: West Cork People

“I never planned my life. Things just happened…and I took every opportunity that came my way!”

Globetrotter Miriam Bailey, 78, says she grew to like the sense of adventure that came with accepting work assignments in different parts of the world, so she decided “to keep at it”.

“Perhaps when this assignment finishes in 2017, it might be time to stop and smell the roses as they say!” she says smiling.

A Management Consultant in the Public Sector, Miriam is currently working on a project in Bangladesh that involves leading a group of consultants in institutionalising a results-based management system in one of the big government ministries.

Apart from Canada and Hong Kong, Miriam has had work contracts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Jordan, Jamaica, Philippines, South Africa, Uzbekistan…and possibly one or two others. This is her seventh time in Bangladesh.

She took a brief break from travelling in 2000 and returned to her roots to open an art gallery in Bandon. “It was great fun,” she says  “but unfortunately, the ‘crash’ came and I lost my customer base overnight. It was a great experience however and I’ve absolutely no regrets!”

Born in Bandon (her mother’s hometown), Miriam’s childhood was shared between Millstreet and Bantry, where her father was stationed in the Munster and Leinster Bank (AIB today).

Miriam went to school in Dublin before going to UCC to do a Commerce degree. After teaching in the Vocational School in Skibbereen for four years, she decided it was time to see the world and ended up in Hong Kong, running a small business school. After five years, Miriam reckoned it was time to see the New World and travelled to Canada, teaching in a large secondary school in the Montreal area.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Miriam worked in educational management in a third-level college. During those years she got an MA and PhD in public sector strategic planning at McGill University in Montreal, which led her to join the Canadian civil service in the Prairies. “In 1995, I started to work as a freelance consultant in strategic planning…and it was this move that took me to many countries in the developing world,” she explains.

“It took me some years to realise that the ability to earn one’s living was a real break through for women,” says Miriam earnestly. “Having one’s own money gives women a high level of freedom to make choices in life. I often think that the Women’s Movement has not put sufficient importance on pushing educational institutions to encouraging girls and women to take the kinds of skills and training that lead to well paid employment. There are so many new kinds of opportunities available now. Sometimes, though, we don’t know about them. So I think that women’s groups could become involved in this kind of research and job promotion.”

With great admiration for women like Mary Robinson, who “led the way for women and girls not to be afraid to fight for what they believe in, Miriam believes that “it’s time for many young women to pursue their dreams; it’s possible now.”

Would Miriam change anything in her own life if she could? “Not really. It might have been wiser to plan a little, but then I might not have grabbed the opportunities that came my way if I had decided to head in another direction. We never know what’s around the corner!”

If Miriam does ever stop to smell the roses, there is a big pile of books waiting to be read at her home in Courtmacsherry. “I think the luxury of having a fair leisure is becoming very important to me,” she says smiling. “The freedom of not having to run off to a job fills me with anticipation!”

Latest News Articles:

West Cork girls among first to earn Irish Girl Guides’ new engineering badge
What is GDPR and who does it affect?
Kinsale historic map project launched
Dunmanway launches year-long celebration of Sam Maguire
Sam Maguire School Tour launched
Fundraising drive to get Kinsale students to World Robotics Championships to Kentucky
Answer the Call to save lives on March 23
Clonakilty students return from trip of a lifetime to rural Malawi
Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads

Join us on Facebook

... See MoreSee Less

13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
... See MoreSee Less

12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
... See MoreSee Less

9th April, 2018  ·  

Jump to:

Top