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A first story between covers

Ireland-in-Exile-Cover-WEBWhile entering story competitions and having work appear in publications is very exciting for a young writer, there is something very special about the first time you see one of your stories in an actual book.  Dermot Bolger was someone whose work I deeply admired.  I had not long before read and been blown away by The Journey Home, a stark, tough novel about Dublin in the dark eighties, when he contacted me to see if I had a piece to contribute to a collection of stories written by Irish writers abroad.

At the time, Joe O’Connor  and Emma Donoghue were living in London, Harry Clifton was in Africa, Colum McCann was in Texas, Sarah Berkeley in San Francisco, and Eamonn Wall and myself formed part of the burgeoning New Irish arts community in New York.   The amazing thing was that during the eighties and early nineties, anybody  living abroad, let alone writers, were nothing less than the national black sheep – the cheek of them to have emigrated leaving the rest of the Irish in the badlands of eighties Ireland!   It was a crime that was dealt with by cruel silence.

Enter Dermot Bolger (who had, himself, made a personal decision not to emigrate) with Ireland in Exile, which was, in effect, the first collection and recognition of the contemporary generation of scribes that had left – as many generations had left before.  With its cogent introduction by Joseph O’Connor and daring to present the nascent talents of many who would subsequetly become household names, its a book in which I’m very proud to be included.

To read my very early nineties contribution, The Suitcase, click here.


Tribute to those lost in the Haiti Earthquake

Just wanted to post a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Haiti earthquake, 12 January 2010.  Flowers placed and floated to the sea about a week after the event, at Blackhall Strand, Co Wexford. Click on image below to view.

A Tribute to those who lost their lives in the Haiti Earthquake, 12 January 2010.


Happy Birthday, Mr Bowie: first published article

Since it’s Bowie’s birthday today, I thought I’d post my first article ever – which was published in Hot Press magazine, by Niall Stokes – who was a great Editor, and responsible for encouraging many young writers down the years, who made their debuts on the pages of this publication, with Niall and Mairín at the helm.  Their motto at the time was, Hot Press – keeping Ireland safe for Rock’n’Roll … and I certainly made the best of my rock chick aspirations down the years, covering music from Paris and then New York.  Probably not surprising that I started off writing about my long time musical hero, David Bowie:  a review of his “Serious Moonlight” tour stop in Paris, in 1982.  Note “The new spectacular full-colour” edition of Hot Press.  With Spandau Ballet as cover feature!!   For PDF version, click here