Una Mannion

Although Una has always been a prolific reader, it wasn’t until she was an adult that she felt a hunger to write. “That came at 20,” she says. “But I took another 20 years to actually…

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Allie Reynolds

An outdoor child, Allie started snowboarding when she was 20. “I went to a dry slope.” Afterwards university, Allie took a TEFAL course in Barcelona. “I went to Andorra to snowboard every weekend, and I spent…

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Rachel Ryan 4

Rachel Ryan

Rachel has always wanted to be a novelist. She wrote her first book, running to 16 chapters, when she was at primary school. “I was always into imaginary worlds,” she says. After University, Rachel hopped from…

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Eleanor Hooker - Photograph by George Hooker copy (1)

Eleanor Hooker

Eleanor has been a secret writer all her life. After School she trained as a general nurse in Jervis street, where she met her husband, and became a staff nurse in intensive care. She trained as…

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Helen Corcoran

Helen decided to become a writer at eight years old. “I read an Amelia Jane book by Enid Blyton, and realised it was what I wanted to do. I wrote my first book at 11. It…

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Eoin Lane

Eoin won his first art competition aged six. And at seventeen, following his father’s death, he won a Francis McManus inaugural award for a short story. Spending childhood holidays in Connemara, he loved painting the landscape….

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Susan Farrell

A prolific reader, Susan had read her way through most of Conan Doyle’s books by the age of 11. But her passion, as a child, was cooking. “My school didn’t encourage it, so I took my…

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Snow angkes

Maggie O’Farrell

Some years ago, Maggie O’Farrell was in the back of an ambulance with her middle child – who – since birth, has suffered from extreme, sometimes life-threatening, allergic reactions. “That night she was very sick and…

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Elaine Feeney

From a farming background of five children, Elaine was a quiet, observant child – a watcher. “I read a Kavanagh poem in secondary school and felt his isolation. I read Dylan Thomas aloud to myself at…

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Lisa Bradley

Lisa dreamed of becoming an author as a child but was happy when her MA got her into journalism. “I got offered my first reporting job on the Wakefield Herald two thirds of the way through…

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James Bailey 1

James Bailey

Mad about football, at 13, James decided to be a journalist. He reported for the local press; he founded a school newspaper and wrote a blog. At 17 at a random ECG screening, he was diagnosed…

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Jim O’Donoghue

Jim has been involved in The Neptune Basketball club since its inception in 1947. “My brother, Donal, was a founding member. At 9, I’d tag along with him as ball boy, and at 14, I togged…

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