The Man Who Brought Zesty Back: An Interview With Shane Kenneally
Known for his catchy (and often ridiculed) catch lines, extraordinary events and dazzling dancing, Shane Kenneally is a very well known guy. But in his first ever interview, we go beyond the exterior, and find out what really interests this man of many talents.
Q. Hey Shane, so how are you?
A. I’m really good thanks! Very much looking forward to my first ever interview, it’s so flattering that you want to know what I have to say.
Q. Of course we do! So, how was your Christmas?
A. My Christmas was grand, I think it was the same as everyone’s in that there were three days of good craic and then you are just wanting to get back to college. It was lovely though, I just chilled mostly. I’m from the middle of nowhere so it’s really nice to back with all my mates.
Q. When you say the middle of nowhere, what are we talking here?
A. I’m literally from a forest, in the middle of Wicklow county in this national park , so it’s a good 15 minute drive from anyone I went to school with and I don’t drive.
Q. That really does sound like the middle of nowhere, can you tell us about your childhood?
A. Yeah it was grand. I have two really sound parents, and a brother who is 30. I went to school in Bray, and I’m actually one of the people who is from quite close to halls (well, an hour and a half away), and I got rejected twice from Halls before finally making it in. But yeah, I’m actually from the countryside, but went to school in Dublin, hence the accent and the D4 notions haha.
Q. You sound a bit shattered, how was the first night of refreshers last night?
A. It was unreal, I’m so happy with how it went. We sold loads of tickets and people seemed to have a great time at Opium, so as long as people did it’s grand.
Q. Let’s hope for a few more great nights this week. So you’ve been writing for the UT since last year, and you talk about everything from the stresses of being a first year to eating disorders, how are you comfortable writing about such an array of topics, and what made you want to?
A. I was really into drama in school, and so I’ve never really had an issue with being like open and the center of attention if you will, and if you have an article online with your name on it, it’s similar. And then I always liked writing, and the challenge that comes with writing something that could be accepted by UT, and something that people can feel that they can relate to. Halls is such a shared experience, so I felt it was only right that I gave my own experience of it and then hope that people could relate to that. And then regarding the article on eating disorders and all, it was mental health week, and I was writing at the time for the opinions section, and I felt it was a topic that was sort of being left out, and wasn’t really being acknowledged, and so I felt that I could add something to it from my own experience and tell people how I think about it and cope with it.
Q. Start of second term people are looking to get involved in things, so I was wondering, what society are you most glad you joined in first year and why? Like did you join any at this time of year?
A. Well just as a disclaimer, I would say JCR, but technically we are not a society, so that aside, I would say the Phil. I’m on the Phil committee this year, but for first term last year I only really dabbled in the Phil- I went to a competition with them in Cork and I spoke in one of their Thursday Chamber Debates, but I had only gone along twice, I didn’t go to their weekly debates or stuff like that, and then in second term I took part of their Exec Debate, which is a first year only debate in the Phil- it’s a really big night, you wear a suit, there’s a big night out and reception after, it’s basically to make the first years feel a part of the Phil. And from that, I just loved it. I found it so much easier to feel apart of than other societies I had tried out, and some of my best friends from last year in halls are in the Phil, so I see them every Thursday and Monday so it’s a really good way to stay in touch with Halls friends. I always say to first years try to get one good society, as its so nice to have one thing a week you always look forward to outside the bubble of Halls so you’re not just always stuck in the same routine, and the Phil is a really good way of doing that.
Q. We need to talk about the elephant in the room. Your posts. They are unreal. They are bombastic. They blow the doors off societies main hinges of communication. How do you make them so good?
A. Hahah you are making me blush! I kind of just write them as a steady stream of consciousness. And then I get told ‘no Shane, you can’t say that!’, and then I edit them a bit more. I just get too draw in into making them weird and funny and then I forget to leave out the important details like where and when something is. They are not the best for presenting the important information but I always try to make them something I would like to read.
Q. Well we do like to read them. Now, what is the best story from Halls you’ve ever heard?
A. Ohhh. Well, there was a girl last year who was so drunk she broke into Oldham.
Q. Woah. That is amazing, tell me more.
A. That is literally it. She was so drunk that she broke her way into Oldham. And security had to like sweep the building to find her, with her running around the different rooms.
Q. Stunning. Ok there is one last thing we need to talk about: Zesty. There have been rumours that it was you who started it. Was it you who started Zesty?
A. Well for a while I didn’t know where it came from…
Q. So you did start it?
A. Yeah, I did start it. I had used it in my campaign and stuff last year, and then I had forgotten about it, but yeah I had had that and then others like ‘ShEnts’ and ‘let me enterShane you’ and a few others, in hindsight ‘enterShane’ was not a great choice of works ahaha. Anyway, then I was scrolling on my old Snapchat stories from last year and had found a Snapchat from October last year with me saying ‘zesty’, so me and zesty have been together a while; and then the JCR just decided to adopt it.
Q. We wish they hadn’t. Ok, moving on, quickfires. You ready?
A. Yeah boy.
Q. Ok, let go. Tea or coffee?
A. Coffee, always.
Q.Pizza or Chinese?
Q.Ideal night out?
A. A ropey one when you go to a few different places and end up at a randomers with a big group of people where you stay till really late.
Q. Ideal night in?
A. Good tunes, lots of wine, and then watching music videos until really really late.
Q. Favourite burrito place/ favourite place for lunch near campus?
A. I once went to KC peaches five days in a row. So definitely there.
Q. Favourite night out this year?
A. Singing ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ in an underground Karoake place in Germany the weekend before we came back to college definitely tops it.
Q. Netflix or pub?
Q. Favourite just got home and are drunk food?
A. Microwave popcorn, I don’t like to order.
Q. Favourite JCR? You don’t have to answer it.
A. Ohhh that’s a toughy. I’m going to say Sinead McAleer, after what she said on bonding trip XOXO.
Q. Right. I have no idea what that means.
A. She will.
Q. Fair enough. Thanks Shane!