Beginner’s Pluck

Ray Taylor

A trained surveyor, Ray ran a successful subcontracting business. Wanting to retire at 50, he volunteered to go to Bosnia. “I got a taste for aid work,” he says. “From then on I worked at it…

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Pauline Clooney

As a teenager, Pauline wanted to be a journalist. She had an article published, and at 16, blagged her way into an interview with U2. But a careers meeting with local journalists put her off.            …

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Ann Ingle.

Leaving school with excellent typing skills, Ann worked for London University before falling madly in love with Peter Ingle at 20. In Ireland, Ann typed up manuscripts and essays for everyone from students to Lord Killanin….

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Sarah Gilmartin

A huge reader, Sarah’s main interest as a child was drama. But having gained an MA in Journalism, she worked as a journalist in Public Affairs, and then Business.             “Then I took a year out,…

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Colin Black

Colin loved English at school, but he decided to study physiotherapy for job security. After a year he switched to medicine and, after completing his initial training, took a foundation year at St Vincent’s Hospital in…

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Jade Jordan

Jade has always wanted to be an actor. She attended acting classes as a child, but the course of her career hasn’t always been smooth. In 2016, struggling to get parts in the UK, she was…

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Rosaleen McDonagh.

Rosaleen always had a curiosity about books, but growing up a Traveller in Sligo, Donegal and Dublin, attending a special school, she never had the chance. “All through my life people just said I was thick,…

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Luke Cassidy

Luke has always been drawn to books – but he was discouraged from taking English at university. After his MA, he spent a year in Japan teaching English, and on the way home, travelling overland, he…

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E.D Thompson

Leaving school at 16, Eirin moved to London – then travelled a bit before returning to Northern Ireland where she trained as a journalist.               “I worked as a local reporter for some years, and…

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Grace Wilentz

Grace’s father ran a beatnik bookstore in Greenwich Village, so shegrew up around ageing poets. “Ted Jones used to visit my family, and he asked me about my dreams – then he made up poems for…

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Mel O’Doherty

Mel became interested in writing when he was introduced to the novels of Thomas Hardy– but he was in his late twenties when he decided to take action.             “I joined a writing course run in…

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Seamas O’Reilly

One of 11 children, Séamas has always loved reading and music. He played the flute as a child.             “There were 2 cellos in our house,’ he says. “2 pianos, 4 violins and 3 flutes.” He…

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