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Footballer takes Wife's Surname!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Firstly, this year, St Gall's have been successful in winning the All Ireland Football Club championship on St Patrick's Day, so a big congrats on that- how great has this success been for you and the rest of your team mates?

Yes, it has been great, this year is the centenary of our club.. Also, we had lost the All Ireland Club Final a couple of years ago, and that was disappointing. On a personal level, I am really enjoying just having a lot of take-away's and being able to eat a lot of junk food - it was not possible to do this when I was training for an All Ireland Club Final

When did you and Lesley meet?

We met at an anti-war movement in 2004 (this was to do with the war in Afghanistan) and we started going out then, and we got married in Oxford in 2006

Paul, you said that you did women's studies. and that influence your choice to take Lesley's surname, or was it just Lesley herself (she must be some women!)?

It was really the Women's Studies that was the influence on my choice, I was studying English at Queens I had to take an extra subject and I choose to take Women's Studied and it was this that change my thinking

In what way did it change your perspective?

I suppose you could say that when I started doing Women's Studies that I had a 'moment of clarity'.. I started studying the role of hierarchy within society and within genders and I looked at the various views of women in society and it just really change my perspective on the way that women in society were treated.

Did you get some slagging from some of the lads within St Gall's with the name change?

Yes, they were trying to slag me off but they couldn't really get a nickname for me. I suppose there's really nothing that goes/rhymes with Veronica. My younger brother is also on the St Gall's panel and they started calling him Veronica as well - to slag him off, but that's all just a bit of banter and it's all just a bit of craic..

Do you think that more men should or will be taking the surname of their partner(s)?

I suppose it's really up to them. For me, it was something that I was just really serious about doing.. I mean, if they took a step back and looked and the structure of hierarchy in society in the way that I did, then they may well do

Your family was maybe a bit shocked at the beginning, but then they saw how serious you were?

Yes, my family is lower middle class traditional Catholics and it was a shock to them at the start.. I suppose it's as far off the scale as you could imagine for them. they came around to the idea when they knew how serious I was about it..

Lesley, some of your family members were also surprised and maybe didn't agree with Paul taking your name?

Yes, my sister questioned it and she didn't really agree with what Paul was doing. I basically told her that I didn't interfere with what she was doing in her marriage and that it was really Paul's choice

Lesley, did Paul decide to take the name well before you got hitched?

Yes, he had decided well before we went to the alter that he was going to take the name Veronica.. and he was just really serious about it from the start.. He always knew before he got married that he would take my name

Paul, what feminist have you been most inspired by, if any?

Andrea Dworkin.. She was a radical feminist who was better known for her criticism of pornography. and the way that men fix their gaze on women.. I found her inspiring

You're a stay at home dad Paul?

Yes, Lesley works a lecturer (she teaches politics) in Belfast Metropolitan and I look after Oliver during the day.I work during the night(s) at Belfast Water Works so that I can look after Oliver during the day .. It's great to be able to spend time with my son during the day

Your own surname name won't be carried on to your son, does that bother you?

No, it doesn't really bother me to be honest.