Proust Questionnaire 6: Mick Heaney


Mick Heaney is a journalist and broadcaster, and has been writing on the Arts and disseminating culture for over 20 years, and is presently radio columnist for The Irish Times. He will be chairing tonight’s discussion with writer Colum McCann at 6pm in Liberty Hall. And on second thoughts he would “most like to be”…. Larry David.

What is your idea of happiness?

Relaxing and socializing with my family and friends on a warm summer’s day. Predictable but true.

Where would you most like to live?

Pretty much anywhere in Spain.

What is your favourite virtue?


What are your favourite qualities in a man?

Affability, humour, intelligence and decent taste in music and books.

What are your favourite qualities in a woman?

Pretty much the same as in men, to be honest.

What do you most value in your friends?

Companionship and solidarity.

What is your biggest weakness?

Laziness, among many.

What do you enjoy doing most?

Reading and listening to music, which I don’t do enough, and sipping wine slumped in front of the telly, which I probably do too much.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Talking rubbish.

What is your idea of misery?

Not being able to be with my family.

If not yourself, who would you like to be?

Thomas Pynchon.

What is your favourite colour and flower?

Blue and lilies.

What is your favourite bird?


Who are your favourite writers?

Philip Roth, Flann O’Brien, George Orwell, among many.

Who are your favourite poets?

No commment.

Who are your favourite artists?

Goya, Velaquez, Turner, Barrie Cooke.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Far too many to mention, but off the top of my head, Curtis Mayfield, John Coltrane, Pete Townshend, Joey Ramone.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in fiction?

Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom.

Who are the heroes and heroines in your life?

My parents.

Who are your favourite heroes and heroines in history?

Oscar Wilde, Daniel O’Connell,  Rosa Parks.

What is your favourite food and drink?

Roast pork belly and red wine.

What are your favourite names?

Aibhín and Síofra.

What do you most dislike?

The generally sorry state of Ireland and the fact that it’s mostly all our own fault.

Which historical figures do you most dislike?

Hitler, for obvious reasons.

What event in history do you most admire?

The Renaissance.

What social movement do you most admire?

Any non-violent human rights movement.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?


How would you like to die?

As painlessly as possible.

What is your present state of mind?


What is your biggest pet peeve?

Bad spelling and grammar.

Which fault in others do you most easily tolerate?


Which fault in yourself do you most easily tolerate?


What is your motto?

Nil satis nisi optimum. It’s actually Everton’s motto, but it’s a pretty good one.



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