Passion for all things Irish is the hallmark of longtime resident Malachi Rafferty

“Mal” Rafferty was born and raised in the west of Ireland. As an undergraduate, he studied at the University College Dublin and Trinity College. The recipient of an Irish/U.S. government fellowship, he completed graduate studies at UCLA School of Business in 1966 and joined the administration as a special assistant to the Dean of Extension.

Mal Rafferty

He retired from “real” work in 2010, and lives with his wife, Beth, in La Jolla. They are proud parents of three grown children, all La Jolla High School graduates.

Mal is a board member of the Friends of the La Jolla Library.

What brought you to La Jolla?

In 1974, a job opportunity at the University of San Diego.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

There would be enough money in the budget to keep our La Jolla library open seven days a week, eight hours a day.

Who or what inspires you?

People who are generous with their time, talent and treasure.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite


My guests would gather at my Georgian home in Merrion Square, Dublin. (If only I owned a Georgian home.) Regrets from Oscar Wilde, my neighbor, who’s on safari with the Prince of Wales. Included would be Saint Patrick — we need someone to say the blessing and I’ve wondered, did he drive all the “snakes” out of Ireland? He’d be joined by the four Irish winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature — George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. Then, Dean Jonathan Swift who said, “A tavern is a place where madness is sold in bottles,” and finally, Brendan Behan, who drank many a bottle and said, “One drink is too many for me and a thousand not enough.” To get everyone home safely, I would be the designated driver in order to navigate any sobriety checkpoints.

What would be your dream vacation?

Two weeks with my family, in the west of Ireland with sunshine guaranteed.

What is it that you most dislike?


What is your most-prized possession?

My two dogs, Monty and Guinness.

What do you do for fun?

I’m a sports addict.

What is your most-marked characteristic?

Can’t you tell? A gift of the blarney!

What is your motto or philosophy in life?

Live and let live.