Footballers and film stars – is this the most talented family in Galway?

Date Published: 13-Feb-2013

There isn’t a parent out there who wouldn’t love to see their son become a professional sportsman and their daughter a famous actress – for the Shaughnessy family from Oughterard, they are living that dream with bells on.

Joe (20) and Conor (16) Shaughnessy are carving out impressive careers for themselves with Aberdeen and Reading respectively, while older sister Fiona – who hails from Renmore in the city – is the star of the cult Channel 4 programme, Utopia.

Their father is city native, Tom, who is originally from Quay Lane (now called Druid Lane) in the heart of the Galway City, and while modest about the achievements of his three children, he is also immensely proud of all three.

“Any and every parent is proud of their child, no matter what they achieve, but yes, it is wonderful to see Fiona, Joe and Conor doing so well, I am obviously very proud of them, as well as of their brother and sister, Patrick and Christie,” Tom said.

Joe Shaughnessy, who has been capped at U-16, U-18 and U-19 level for the Republic of Ireland, made his debut for the national U-21 side last week when coming on as a half-time substitute in the 3-0 friendly win over Holland.

Joe’s career started with Oughterard, before he moved in to town to join Mervue United, and then Salthill Devon, and it was from Devon that he joined Aberdeen in 2009.

While Joe is continuing to make a name for himself in Scottish football, his younger brother Conor is making an equally big impression on his new club some 540 miles down the road at Reading.

In the first year of a three-year contract at Reading, Conor – who turns 17 in July – captained the U-17 Reading side to a 4-1 win over Manchester United at the Carrington Training facility in Manchester on Saturday, and face Chelsea this weekend.

And while Joe and Conor are starring on the football stage, their half-sister Fiona – she is the daughter of Tom and Helen Oliver from Claddagh – is continuing to make a name for herself in the acting world, starring in Utopia, the six-part Channel 4 drama series which ends this coming Monday night.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune