Renowned Roscommon footballer and popular community figure Seanie McDermott has this week realised a long-standing career ambition by opening his own Barber Shop.
The premises – aptly named ‘Seanie Mac’s’ – is now open at Pound Street, Ballaghaderreen.
Seanie has been working as a barber for a number of years, having completed the world-renowned London City & Guilds training in 2010/2011.
While he has been working as a barber in the West of Ireland ever since, this week sees Seanie branching out into the entrepreneurial world by opening his own business.
“Ever since I developed my interest in the industry, the ambition has been to eventually open my own business” Seanie told the Roscommon People on Tuesday.
Since qualifying, Seanie has worked in Sligo, in Athenry in Co. Galway and more recently in Mayo. He soon discovered that he loved his work and that this was indeed the career for him.
“I was working in The Barber Rooms with John Kelly in Castlebar up to recently,” Sean says. “It was a third generation business. Obviously I gained great experience there and in Athenry before that. So I suppose I have my apprenticeship served now! I’m delighted now to be in a position to open my own business.
Seanie Mac’s is described by its proprietor as “an old school retro barber shop, a traditional Gentleman’s Barber Shop” which – not surprisingly – has a GAA theme.
Seanie is son of Paddy and Eithne McDermott. His mum is the Librarian in Ballaghaderreen. His father is a retired carpenter whom Sean thanks for “very tastefully” fitting out the new premises.
It’s not surprising that Seanie Mac’s has a GAA theme (there are jerseys belonging to Sean, Andy Moran and Gurteen’s Ross Donovan on display) because Sean McDermott is one of the outstanding Roscommon footballers of recent decades.
The 33-year-old Western Gaels star is a firm favourite with Roscommon fans due to his consistent brilliance in defence, the Seanie Mac swashbuckling style, not to mention the remarkable longevity of his career.
And while starting his own business is almost certain to place pressure on Sean’s schedule, the good news for Kevin McStay (Roscommon manager) and the team’s thousands of fans, is that the veteran star has no retirement plans.
He may be opening a business chapter – but he is not closing a sporting one!
“Look, I realise that running my own business will keep me very busy and maybe it will put pressure on the football – and at the end of the day I will have to look after number one – but as of now I have no plans to retire (from inter-county football).”
Mention of the football prompts me to ask Sean for a quick summary of Roscommon’s season – and of Mayo’s prospects in the All-Ireland Final.
“Kevin McStay has always said we should be judged on the championship, so clearly 2017 has been a year of great success. We won the Connacht title in some style in Salthill; it’s a long time since a Roscommon team won a Connacht title in that manner. It was absolutely brilliant.
“As for the defeat (in the All-Ireland quarter-final replay) to Mayo, I’m strongly of the view that when you play a great team – and Mayo are a great team – you really have to take your chance the first day.
“I give Mayo a serious chance in the All-Ireland final. They have never played as well as they are now. I think it would be brilliant if they can bring the Sam Maguire across the Shannon. Can you imagine them coming to Hyde Park next year as All-Ireland champions?”
On the club front, Sean is delighted with the progress being made by Western Gaels in this year’s SFC, and he expects his club to be “there or thereabouts” in the battle for the title.
For now though, Sean’s life revolves around his new business, and he is very much looking forward to meeting and serving the public in Seanie Mac’s!