I grew up in south Dublin and went to an all-girls Catholic school. My father [Adrian Cronin] was head of RTE's light entertainment arm – he directed the Late Late Show and the first Eurovision song contest to be broadcast from Ireland. My mother had enjoyed a successful career in HR in her 20s but had her employment terminated on marrying my father, under a rule which stayed on the statute books until 1973 called "The Marriage Ban".
I was a geeky, socially-awkward child and taught myself to play the recorder. My friend’s mum spotted me playing in the school assembly when I was nine and put me in touch with Doris Keogh, professor of flute and recorder at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. I trained under her and ended up performing renaissance music across Europe.
I toyed with the idea of becoming a professional musician, but my father advised me to keep music as a hobby and do something else for a living. I’m grateful – I was never going to be the next James Galway. I studied economics and social science at Trinity College then joined the Mars graduate recruitment scheme in 1988. Other than a brief stint with PepsiCo, I’ve been there ever since.