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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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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Anne Youngson

After university Anne went into the Motor Trade, where she stayed all her working life as a senior executive. She always wrote, but did so in secret. “I always assumed that writers were other people,” she…

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Charlotte Duckworth

Charlotte grew up surrounded by books. “Grandad was an antiquarian bookseller, selling the rarest books, and there were about 3,000 books in my parent’s house.” At 12, she finished a novel. “I typed it out on…

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Christy Fleming

Christy and his three siblings were brought up by their widowed mother. “My father died when I was 13 months old, so I can’t remember him.” Christy walked out of school aged 12. He did various…

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