Maureen Gallagher

Posted by Sue Leonard on Friday 24th February 2023

As a child, Maureen spent a lot of time with her grandmother – time she spent reading voraciously.

Maureen taught in primary schools in Dublin for a few years, ending up in a school for travellers in Ballyfermot.

“Then we moved to Galway because my husband got a job in NUI Galway, and I taught there. My last job was as a resource teacher, which I loved. But I took early retirement to write.”

Maureen’s writing started with political, activist articles for journals, then, becoming involved in the vibrant arts scene in Galway, she wrote songs, and later poetry.

            “That was in the late 1990’s,” she says. “And my first book of poems was published in 2008.”

She also wrote short stories, and had many published.

            “I saw myself in the literary genre, but when I went to a workshop, and was tasked with writing a 300-word pitch for a crime novel, I felt I had found my home. I’d though it would feel limited, but it suits me because the limitations allow you to explore social issues.”

Who is Maureen Gallagher?

Date of birth: 1946 in Monaghan.

Education: The Louis Convent in Monaghan; Carysfort Teacher Training College.

Home: Galway.

Family: Two children, and five grandchildren.

The Day Job: Fulltime writer. “I heard that Graham Greene wrote 500 words a day.  I do the same.”  

In Another Life: “I’d be a musician.”  

Favourite Writers: Hilary Mantel; John Le Carré; Flannery O’Connor; Gustave Flaubert; James Joyce. 

Second Book: “It’s the second in the series. I’ve planned it and will start writing in January. It’s about misogyny fuelling genocide.”

Top Tip: “Let it completely flow at the start. Get it all down. It’s at the editing stage that it becomes a novel. It’s like a sculpture; you start to chisel in.”


The Debut: Limbo. Poolbeg Scarlett. €15.99. Kindle: €4.57.

It’s summer 1989 in Donegal, and a baby is found on the dunes in Gweedore, bludgeoned to death. Detective Kate Francis – Frankie is put onto the case but finds the local Sergeant impossible to deal with. In the course of enquires, a second baby is found. Are the two cases linked?

 The Verdict: A gripping character driven tale with a sure sense of place.

Published in the Irish Examiner on 31st December.

© Sue J Leonard. 2023.

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