Beginner’s Pluck


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Hugh O’Donovan

After a short spell at teacher training college, Hugh joined the Irish army. “Loving the idea of the outdoors, I got a cadetship at 17 and stayed for 23 years. I had a whizz time!” During […]

Tim McCormick

Tim taught in India with the VSO after college, then moved to London to study accountancy. Back in Dublin, he joined the National Irish Investment Bank, where he remained until 1990. “After that I lectured in […]

Maria Murphy

In her early 20s Maria was in a folk group, and she started writing lyrics, and some poetry. But it wasn’t until 2004, when she joined a creative writing group that she started taking writing seriously. […]

Renee Knight

Leaving school at 16, Renee took a secretarial course, with French A’Level, then she started temping at the BBC. “And I stayed. I worked my way up the ladder, and became a documentary maker. Then I […]

Sheena Lambert

As a child, Sheena had little interest in books. She was into science and maths, and she became an engineer working in waste management. “I was on landfill sites a lot, it was all wellingtons and […]

Máire T Robinson

A writer from birth, Máire studied film at college, where she wrote screenplays and short films; then she stayed on in Galway working for the youth theatre. “I was studying film production at the time, and […]

Claire-Louise Bennett

  Reading “a lot of rubbish,” as a child, Claire-Louise discovered literature in her late teens. Writing came earlier, but it seemed, to her, to be a completely different endeavour. “I wrote with no sense of […]

Carole Gurnett

As a child, Carole wrote long diary entries and letters to anyone who would reply, and as a teenager she wrote short stories. Some were published, and others shortlisted in competitions. In the late 1990s, she […]

Steve Cavanagh

AS a lawyer, Steve has conducted several high profile cases. In 2010, representing a factory worker, he won the largest award for damages in race discrimination in Northern Ireland’s legal history. In his 20s, he wrote […]

Darren Kelly

With a lifelong fascination for history, and especially for the 1916 Rising, Darren never had any particular wish to write. In fact, he thought he was no good at it. After school, he became a roadie, […]

Michael Christie

Michael Christie grew up in a home where literature was greatly valued, but was put on a pedestal, as something normal people couldn’t do. A prolific reader, Michael  did his early writing in secret, and meanwhile […]

Don Cameron

An Articled Accountant, Don worked in Dublin for many years, before going to London. “It was the mid-eighties. Everyone was leaving Ireland, he says.” He spent time there working for semi-state bodies, and ended up in […]