Paul Fitzsimons

Paul tried accountancy, but then switched and worked in a bank for a while, before going into the IT industry. “When I was working for Intel, I returned to college, and studied Interior Design. My first…

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Margaret Kelleher

Back in August 1882, a gang of men entered a tiny homestead in Maamtrasna, County Galway, and murdered five of the occupants. John Joyce, his wife Bridget, mother Margaret, son Michael and daughter Peggy, who died…

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Caragh Bell

Caragh Bell

An English and French teacher, Caragh has written since she was small. She had her first child just after college but went back to do an HDip and has been teaching since. “I sent a manuscript…

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Jacqueline O’Mahony

A prolific reader, Jacqueline reviewed books for the, then, Cork Examiner aged 14, winning young writer of the year. After her Masters in Italy she lived in Spain for a year. Then, gaining a Fulbright scholarship,…

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Anne Griffin

Anne worked in Waterstones for 8 years, as a buyer of non-fiction. “I loved it. I worked in Convent Garden, opened Dublin’s Jervis Street branch, and manged Dawson Street.” Wanting a new challenge, she went back…

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Billy O’Callaghan

Back in 2000, Billy O’Callaghan visited Coney Island. He was only there for an afternoon – whilst on a two-week whistle-stop tour of Boston and New York – but he loved the island for its relative…

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Lesley Pearce

Lesley Pearce’s life reads like one of her novels. Left motherless at three, she ended up in a Victorian style orphanage, to be rescued, three years later, by a stepmother who was then cold towards her….

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Debut Roundup for Books Ireland, January 2019.

Sweet Home. By Wendy Erskine. The Stinging Fly.  There’s been some impressive writing to come out of Northern Ireland in recent years, and the latest, a collection of stories published by The Stinging Fly, focuses on…

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Hazel Gaynor

Hazel Gaynor has long been fascinated with Grace Darling, the Northumbrian heroine who, in 1828, risked her life to rescue the survivors of a shipwreck. She learned about her in primary school. “Grace’s story had everything,”…

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Debut Roundup. November and December

Notes to Self. Emilie Pine. Tramp Press.   The opening essay in Emilie Pine’s excellent collection, takes us to Corfu, where Emilie and her sister discover the inadequacies of the Greek health system. Their father’s liver, abused…

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Betty Stenson 3 Credit Brendan Harrington

Betty Stenson

Aged 10, Betty was made school librarian, and after leaving school she joined the library service. Whilst working there, in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, then in South Dublin, she took a degree, gaining a double first. She…

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IMG_20181208_163714_262.jpg Marc

Marc McMenamin

Marc has always had a passion for history, and it was fuelled by a wonderful history teacher in Donegal. “I remember reading history books instead of doing my homework,” he says. “Research became an obsession to…

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