Name: Mark O’Donnell

Store: Ballincollig


  • What are your interests and hobbies:

My main interest is darts. I play with a local team in Mayfield & Lisgoold in Cork. 

Apart from darts I love car cleaning, detailing, and music.


  • Have you any hidden talent or unique skill:

I’m pretty handy when it comes to juggling.


  • Why did you choose to work with Maxi Zoo:

I always wanted to work in animal care or with cars.

In 2005 I finished studying animal care and management in college. Maxi Zoo were hiring and I started in 2006 as a sales assistant and haven’t looked back since. I now manage the Ballincollig store.


  • What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do:

I love meeting people and seeing how much they love animals. Hearing about their pets and being able to offer solutions to some issues they’re experiencing lets me know I have helped.


  • What is your greatest life or career achievement:

I won player of the year in East Cork darts in 2017. It was proof that hard work pays off.

I had also won player of the month previously and was delighted.


  • What motivates you:

I have a nephew that’s turning 3 soon. He has been a massive turning point in my life. He makes me want to succeed in life and do well in what I attempt.


  • When are you at your happiest/How do you like to switch off:

That’s when I’m in front of a darts board, whether it’s playing competitive or just at home. I love it.


  • Who has been the biggest influence on your life:

I would say the musician Chester Bennington. My teenage years involved me blaring his music whether it was at home or via a discman while out with my friends.

I think teenagers need to get emotions out or have someone they feel that can relate to how they feel. Chester did that for me. The album “hybrid theory” is my all-time favourite and helped me a lot in my younger years.


  • What is your favourite Maxi Zoo memory:

When I worked at the National Ploughing Championships in 2019. We had a great time. I got to meet so many colleagues that you’d talk to on the phone or by email, it was great to see everyone.


  • Have you any pets? If so what breed and name. Tell us the funniest thing your pets does:

I had a German Shepherd named Molly up until recently.

She had her own couch because her nails went down through the leather sofa when she was a pup, it became her bed.

She embedded herself in our hearts.