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Spies book cover Publication Date: August 2018

At fourteen years of age Johnny Dunne reckons he’s the youngest spy in Ireland. But as rebel leader Michael Collins engages in a cut-throat secret war with British Intelligence, Johnny finds himself working for Collins, and at the centre of the action. In a Dublin full of gunmen, soldiers, police informers and the dreaded Black and Tans, Johnny has to watch his every move.

Meanwhile Alice and Stella try to adapt to change. Torn between family values and friendship, they face difficult and dangerous choices when Johnny re-appears in their lives.

And while Johnny is still reeling from the events of Bloody Sunday, he gets another shock – one that turns his world upside down.

that will never catch on

Chinese take-away menuMy radio documentary THAT WILL NEVER CATCH ON   was broadcast recently on Newstalk 106-108 fm, and can also be listened to as a podcast via the link below.

When did Ireland go from being a country with very limited cuisine to every town having a pizza parlour and Chinese take-away? And how did people react to the change? When did smoking go from being all-pervasive to being frowned upon? Is the convenience of the mobile phone outweighed by its capacity to be disruptive socially?

These and other, wide-ranging questions are examined in lively fashion by a disparate group of contributors in THAT WILL NEVER CATCH ON.

From Seventies banking practice, when men were recruited in the autumn and women the following spring – to give them time to train for their role as typists – to present day technology etiquette among twenty-somethings, the shifts in how Irish people live their lives are explored.

The programme looks at work, the arts, food, technology, religion, holidays, sport, and the elderly

Ranging from light-hearted recollections of changes that were only fads, and colorful memories of people’s first experience of take-away food, to serious discussion of social isolation and the effect of technology on children, the programme combines entertainment with thought-provoking reflection.

Coming for a wide range of occupations, and with ages ranging from their twenties to their seventies, our contributors look back on the best and worst change in their lifetimes, ending the programme with their aspirations for what they would like to see in the Ireland of the future.


“Dogs in the office is a big thing. In San Fran Cisco there are more dogs than children.” Peter Rogers, marketing worker.

My first sweet and sour chicken – I can’t tell you how awful I thought it was. The idea of putting something sweet like pineapple with chicken just destroyed meat. And rice on top of it – rice was something you had for a pudding.” Pat Moylan theatre producer.

“One husband told me his wife didn’t know anything. And he was terrified he’d pass away first.” Mary Rooney, computer trainer.

“You counted the rings – if there were four rings the call was for you If the phone rang it was ‘shush! Count the rings!’” Clare Garrihy, Doolin Ferries.

“There were these older ladies who served the meals, and they’d shout ‘Gent’s liver!’. The guys got a bigger portion than the ladies.” Miriam Rogers, banker.

Everything is over-packaged. You can’t get a bar of chocolate you can open any more.” Pat Moylan, theatre producer.

“This is the best time to be alive, from a music, movie, television perspective – this is the golden age of television.” Peter Rogers

THAT WILL NEVER CATCH ON was edited and produced by Brian Gallagher.  The programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License Fee.



Desert image for CaptivesMy 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.

busy with words

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.







PIc for Busy WIth Words

on your bike

Greenway picMy 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.

fitting in

Fitting In image

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.