Why I Row Interview 14
by Michelle Conway/June 2020 **GUEST**

Name: Barb Geraghty
Occupation: Lecturer in Japanese, University of Limerick

1. When did you begin rowing?

In 1977, Galway Rowing Club took on a group of 5th year friends (Cassan Watson, Cindy Corbett, Ann Marie Horan and me) who were interested in rowing. We rowed in a clinker-built four called “The Menlo”. In 1979, I was in two minds about trying again, but decided to give it ago and joined UCG Boat Club in 1979.

2. Why?

A lot of my family had rowed, and I heard my dad and brother, Mike speaking a strange language full of riggers, stretchers and stakeboats. It maddened me to be excluded by not understanding what they were talking about, so I wanted to try rowing to find out. In first year in college, Ann Marie said she was going to join the rowing club. I joined with her. As it turned out, she ended up spending a lot of time with the Drama Society instead and became an actor: I went down to the rowing club, and became obsessed.

3. Do you have a favourite seat?

I loved rowing 5 in eights and 2 or bow in fours. Five is the link between bow four and stern four.

4. What was your top challenge?

Really, the biggest challenge for the women in UCG then was to win a championship. Winning the novice women’s fours in Coleraine in 1982 with Mary Reidy, Norah Gallagher, Teresa Hanley and Catherine Lee (Coached by Mike Reidy) was a reward for  huge amount of hard work and persistence.

5. What would you like to learn or improve?

Improving technique, and actually getting on crews. Rowing pairs and single sculls really helped with technique: avoiding a sudden dip in the river was very motivating. I am small, but being able to row on  both sides helped in making crews.

6. Favourite spin?

That was a flat calm summer evening in a double with Aideen Henry . It was one of those times when everything works, and the boat sings under you.

7. What do you love most about rowing?

The good humour in the crew after a good spin; the feeling after a good race whether you lose or win; passing the Graveyard in spring when it is coming together; bright summer evenings at Menlo Castle after intervals; getting a fast start and staying out; seeing the rising sun reflected on the water above the Iodine in early, early spring and getting the first scent of the new season.