Pupils, teachers, and librarians in Killenaule in County Tipperary have just finished a month-long One Book One Community project based on my 2106 novel, Friend or Foe. Well done to all involved in a very successful undertaking.
My radio play Captives will air on Newstalk 106 – 108 fm on Sunday May 2nd at 7.00.a.m. and will be repeated on Monday May 7th at 11.00 a.m. It will be podcast on Newstalk after the broadcast.
Captives is a drama about a group of Irish soldiers taken hostage while on UN duty in Lebanon, and their varying relationships with an existing American prisoner. With the clock ticking towards an execution date, interpersonal tensions rise to boiling point as the characters are forced to confront their most deeply held beliefs.
Starring Mark O’Regan, Aonghus Og McAnally and Sharon Hogan, the programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.
My radio documentary BUSY WITH WORDS will be air on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday February 18th at 7.00 a.m. and will be repeated on Saturday February 24th. at 9.00 p.m. It can also be listened to as a podcast after the broadcast at Documentary on Newstalk.
BUSY WITH WORDS is a documentary about the resurgence of interest in the life and times of writer John D Sheridan. Featuring performances by renowned actor Des Keogh, and with contributions from Sheridan’s surviving family, the programme explores the life of this once famous humourist and novelist, and also looks at how the community in East Wall reclaimed a part of their cultural heritage, by republishing Paradise Alley, one of Sheridan’s books that was set in the area.
Tracing the author’s life from when his Donegal family arrived in early twentieth century Dublin, we hear from historian Sean Boyne about Sheridan’s attending O’Connell’s school during the 1916 era, and from Caitriona Ni Cassaithe about social conditions, and his teacher training, in the then very conservative St Patrick’s college.
Joe Mooney of the East Wall Historical society tells of how John D Sheridan taught in East Wall school, and we hear colourful reminisces from 90 year-old past pupil Charlie O’Leary, who went on the be the kitman for the Ireland soccer squad during the Jack Charlton era.
Joe Mooney recalls how Sheridan’s novel Paradise Alley pre-dated Strumpet City by twenty years in dealing with the 1913 Lockout, and present-day pupils from East Wall school read one of Sheridan’s light-hearted poems.
Actor Des Keogh, who adapted many of John D Sheridan’s humorous essays for the stage, reads one of his most famous pieces, I Know How You Feel.
John P Sheridan, the author’s son, reflects on what it was like living with a famous father, and Joe Mooney tells of how everyday life in East Wall found its way into Sheridan’s fiction. Poverty and bad working conditions were serious problems in the East Wall of that era, and Sheridan’s righteous anger at the lack of opportunities afforded his pupils comes across in readings from Paradise Alley, by Brendan Laird, an actor and past of the school.
Caitriona Ni Cassaithe and Joe Mooney tell of the local reaction to the republishing of the novel, and the last word is left to Charlie O’Leary, who compares Sheridan to James Joyce and Sean O’Casey, and who states that we can’t do enough to bring John D Sheridan back to the forefront.
Quotes from BUSY WITH WORDS:
“I’m only meeting him for the first time, and I nearly fell in love with the man after one day. It shows you how a child can be affected.” Charlie O’Leary, former Ireland kitman and past pupil.
“If anyone were to ask me to name one person who I think of as a supreme essayist, it would be John D. Sheridan”. Des Keogh, actor and broadcaster.
“The main characteristics that were imbued in the students were that they had to be middle-class, religious, show few signs of dissent and be manly.” Caitriona Ni Cassaithe, St Patrick’s College.
“The houses were probably the first houses in Ireland, designed by women, to suit women.” Joe Mooney, East Wall Historical Society.
“You don’t think of your father as a very famous man…he was just somebody you might be kicking football with in the back garden.” John P. Sheridan, author’s son.
BUSY WITH WORDS was edited and produced by Brian Gallagher. The programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.
My radio documentary ON YOUR BIKE will be air on Newstalk 106-108fm on Sunday October 8th at 8.00 a.m. and will be repeated on Saturday October 14th. at 10.00 p.m. It can also be listened to as a podcast after the broadcast, via the following link:
The programme takes a lively look at Ireland’s first greenway, the Westport to Achill route. Seen through the eyes of a group of social cyclists who set to travel it in one day, ON YOUR BIKE also tells the history of the former rail line, and explores the colourful lives of the diverse range of people who work, live and cycle along its route.
ON YOUR BIKE was edited and produced by Brian Gallagher. The programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.
On Wednesday 23rd of August Pawns was launched i n Balbriggan Library by the Mayor of Fingal, Mary McCamley. Great to have the book launched in a location that actually features in the novel! (more…)
My latest book, Pawns, is out now. I hope you enjoy it.
My radio play FITTING IN will be air on Newstalk 106-108fm on Saturday June 10th at 10 00 p.m. and will be repeated on Sunday June 11th at 8.00 a.m. It can also be listened to as a podcast after the broadcast.
Fitting In tells the story of the moral dilemmas faced by a medical rep in a large pharmaceutical company. His ongoing struggles to conform with the company culture come to a head when a drug is withdrawn from the market, and he has to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
Starring Aonghus Og McNally, Mark O’Regan, and Michael Ford, FITTING IN was written and produced by Brian Gallagher. The programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.
My radio play MIDFIELDER will be air on Newstalk 106-108fm on Monday April 17th at 11 00 a.m. and can also be listened to as a podcast after the broadcast.
Midfielder is the story of a former soccer player, Billy Murray. With wry humour Billy recalls the social and work adjustments he had to make on going to Seventies England, to follow his dream of being a professional footballer.
Starring Mark O’Regan, Stephen Jones and Marion O’Dwyer, the programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.
World Book Day was less hectic this year than in 2016, when I wrote One Good turn, the Irish entry for World Book DayA. World Book Day 2017 was still an active day, however, and I had the pleasure of meeting pupils in Killicomaine Junior High School in Portadown.