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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Chocolate, Guinness and the Dalai Lama

December 10, 2008

The Irish Times
Tue, Dec 09, 2008
ON THE COUCH:Gill Brooks is manager of the Irish Blood Transfusion Board's D'Olier Street centre
I grew up in Australia and for the past 25 years have been travelling the world.
I have been living in Ireland for the past four and a half years.
            Which living person do you most admire and why?
The Dalai Lama because he is a man of peace and practises what he preaches.
I also have great admiration for all the people who come and donate blood. The patience and kindness of our donors never ceases to amaze me.
            What do you regard as the top three problems facing Ireland's health system?
Infection control, the number of Irish people who work and are not entitled to a medical card but can't afford health insurance, and the waiting lists for treatments.
            What is your greatest extravagance?
            What is your most unhealthy habit?
Chocolate and Guinness.
            How do you relax?
I read and spend a great deal of time in the country.
            Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Dalai Lama, Tony Quinn, Corazon Acquino, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and my close friends to share the experience.
            What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Peace of mind, good health, good friends.
            What trait do you most value in your friends?
Integrity, honesty and a sense of humour.
            What talent would you most like to have?
Painting, writing and musical talents.
            Do you use alternative/ complementary medicines or therapies?
Massage and nutrition.
            What is your earliest memory?
Going to a Christmas party with my father and getting a Lady Penelope tea set.
            What is your most treasured possession?
A Grandfather clock that my father left me when he died.
            What other career might you have chosen?
A travel writer. I am happy with my current job so I don't spend too much time thinking about what could have been.
            What books or films have inspired you?
Seven Years in Tibet is an amazing film about the young Dalai Lama. Giving by Bill Clinton is a book about the foundation he has set up and argues that even the smallest contributions make a difference.
• In conversation with Fiona Tyrrell
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