Beginner’s Pluck


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Ian Mark.

When Ian was 5 years old, and living in Derbyshire, he wrote a story, and his English teacher was so impressed that she bound it and made a cover. “That’s when I decided I wanted to […]

Declan O’Rourke

From an intensely musical family, Declan took up the guitar at 13, and hasn’t put it down since.             “I started writing songs at 15, when a singer we auditioned for our band said, ‘Let’s play […]

Beginner’s Pluck. Lara Cullen.

As a child Lara wanted to be a psychologist or a TV presenter, but after university she gained a graduate position in HR with Corrs Brewers. “It gave me an amazing foundation.” After five years she […]

Maeve Murphy

A precocious young reader, Maeve became involved in the Cambridge Footlights at University, acting and writing sketches.   Graduating, she moved to Camden Town, London, and co-founded the theatre company, Trouble and Strife. “Later, living in […]

Robert L Harris

Robert’s American parents moved around a lot when he was a child. And he hasn’t lived in America since going to Edinburgh in the late 1970’s to take a postgraduate degree. His wife is from Kerry […]

Breda Joyce

From the time she was a young child, Breda always had her head in a book.             “There were 10 of us,” she says. “I was number two. It wasn’t a bookish house, but I loved […]

Evanna Lynch

An imaginative child, Evanna loved craft and design; she also adored reading and writing. “Books were everything to me,” she says, “and I loved writing letters. I joined a pen pal club when I was really […]

James Conor Patterson

James’s parents had emigrated to England for work before his birth; they returned to Newry when James was six. “It coincided with the ceasefire,” says James. He became interested in writing through music and lyrics and […]

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 […]

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.             […]

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. […]

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, […]