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All the best: Sean Kelly discusses his favourite things


By Kerry McKittrick

The 50-year-old is director of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. He lives in Belfast with his wife Genevieve and their daughter Susannah.

My best moment

Getting married to Genevieve 13 years ago on a summer's day in Verona - that was very special. I love Italy and all things Italian and we wanted a small, intimate wedding, so it was perfect.

My best song

Having heard In Dreams by Roy Orbison on the radio this morning, it struck me that it was the perfect four-minute record. It's flawless.

My best way to relax

I'm pretty happy on the sofa at the weekend with some music on, a nice drink and surrounded by papers and magazines. It's all about the simple pleasures.

My best movie

Gregory's Girl by Bill Forsythe. It captures adolescence in all its awkwardness perfectly. It's a great coming of age film. As I get older I don't have the time to spend watching films as much as I did. I tend to read more these days instead.

My best job

My current job as the organiser of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival continues to challenge me and stimulate me every day. And I know I'm very lucky to be able to say that after 18 years. My first career was as a teacher but I didn't enjoy it so I moved into the arts. Now I spend a large part of the year fundraising for the CQAF and the Out To Lunch Festival and the rest of the time programming them.

My best advice

A line from a song by Bob Dylan called To Ramona which goes; 'I've heard you say many times that you're better than no one and no one is better than you'.

My best gift

A record player which allowed me to dig out all of my old vinyl records. I had lost my old player over various house moves and ended up listening to CDs or mp3s. There is a particular quality to the sound of vinyl and I've been able to revisit it with all those old albums.

My best achievement

Setting up the Black Box venue in Hill Street which has a great atmosphere. The range of events put on is second to none. It's under threat now with the proposed development of the Cathedral Quarter. And, while I see the need for development, I fear for the loss of the arts and culture element, which is what this part of the city was regenerated for in the first place.

My best buy

A pair of clippers a few years ago meaning no more costly haircuts for me. I pay my daughter to clip my hair for me now.

My best book

I've been a huge admirer of Belfast writer Brian Moore, in particular his early novels. I'm torn between the Emperor of Ice Cream and the Feast of Lupercal.

  • The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival runs from April 27-May 7 and this year will feature headline acts such as Rich Hall and Jeremy Hardy. For more information and tickets go to

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