Archives for posts with tag: Ireland


Forget Aristotle. Forget Kant, forget Nietzsche and Thomas Aquinas. One of the greatest philosophers of all time has to be Dr Seuss. “Oh the places you’ll go” is a handbook for life whether your 7 or 72. This is a little tribute portrait of Theodore Seuss Geisel for a upcoming illustrators ireland collaboration. I had to include some wise words too!


A few weeks ago as the summer holidays were coming to a close and my head was fizzing with back to school plans, I got a text. 

It was from a friend. 

Normally texts from friends, regardless of content, are welcome. 

I read it and found myself doing that thing where you suck air through clenched teeth while frowning and quietly shaking your head .

Not a good look! 

It was Paddy Gilley from Cork Commuinty Radio. 

Paddy is an old hand by now at the talk show having presented various shows with Cork community Radio for the best part of two and a half years.

He would be hosting a show called Open House on Sunday nights from 9-12 pm. 

The first hour or so was to be devoted to topical subjects from the point of view of women. 

So lets be clear this was NOT going to be a show about womens issues, but a show about issues, on which women would be commenting.

Paddy was recruiting contributors for the show- would I like to take part?


It’s been many years since I participated in anything that could be described as public speaking. In 3rd class my mother (bless her soul) seeing that I was very shy “volunteered” me for reading at Sunday mass. I did object- hugely. But like all objections at that age I knew I would not get out of it without giving it a try. 

Credit to the curate at the time who did practice sessions the Friday before curtain call. He shared a few tips with us nervous kids that were as valuable as diamonds; stand up straight, place your hands on the pulpit, pick a place to look in the crowd, don’t rush.

Success followed. I managed my fear for many’s the Sunday, stood up straight and delivered the text before me with very few stutters.

Inspite of this success I opted to work in the background for our secondary school play and not appear on stage or in the chorus. 

And so it went over the course of my life to present. Never being comfortable with what I would think of as “performing” I’ve said no to a lot of things, big and small.

But the older I get the more apparent it has become that this is your chance. Your chance to say “YES”, your chance to DO, your chance to “LIVE A LITTLE”


As I say my initial thought was “Gawwdd no”, this is not for me.

Then something transforming happened, there was a moment where a life worth of “Gawd no’s” flashed through my mind, carried along in a tide of disappointment and regret.

“Yes!” I replied  “would love to have a go”.


This show came about partly in response to the observations of the likes of Margaret E Ward that women are under represented on radio in Ireland, and partly because Paddy likes the idea of being surrounded by many beautiful women on a sunday night… Well Ok! So he didn’t say that , but surely, who wouldn’t?


Anyhow, three weeks in and I can actually say I am enjoying it. Enjoying meeting some new people- Niamh and Christine (so far). Enjoying exercising the ol’ grey matter and most of all so happy that I chose to say “YES”.


Open House is presented by Paddy Giley at 9-12pm Sunday nights on Cork Community Radio 100.5fm.

Tune in, take part, say YES.





The Carlow Arts festival is finishing up this Sunday 16th June. For anyone within walking or driving distance of Carlow town it’s well worth a visit.

In my last post I posted one of three images I created for the EXTINCTON exhibition. Given the interest in it I’ve decided to post up all three.

These pieces refer to verses 2, 3 and 4 .

Here is a link to the text…

Of course the exhibit itself is well worth a visit in person and will be running until September 8th (so no excuse!)

Running along side the EXTINCTION exhibit is Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland, curated by Stephen Brandes, and Improvisations on the Theme of an Irish Wall, curated by Terry Martin.

Beasts  of England, Beasts of Ireland, features work from Ben Long,  Polly Morgan,Stephen McKenna to mention but a few.

Improvisations on the Theme of an Irish Wall, brings 20 artists together from around the globe to make a wall of wood based on an irish dry stone wall. This is a wonderful example of what happens when many people work together. Its witty, visually and conceptually. Not to mention a tactile delight..

I love wood I do!


Pictiúr, an exciting new exhibition of the work of some of Ireland’s leading children’s book illustrators and which has been curated by Laureate na nÓg, Niamh Sharkey, will visit four venues in Europe during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU, before returning to Ireland to tour.

During March, Pictiúr will visit the Festival for Young Readers at the Palais Auersperg in Vienna, Austria, before moving on to the Bologna Book Fair, Europe’s most prestigious children’s book event. Then, in April, it will visit the European Parliament building in Brussels before moving to the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, Ireland’s cultural centre in Belgium. Pictiúr’s European tour is being funded by Culture Ireland as part of its Culture Connects International Culture Programme to celebrate Ireland’s Presidency of the EU.

In the Autumn, Pictiúr will begin its Irish Tour with visits to Draíocht Arts Centre in Blanchardstown and the Babaró Children’s Festival in Galway and before returning to Dublin to begin exhibiting at IMMA, Kilmainham, at the end of the year.

‘We are delighted to have the opportunity to tour the work of some of our finest illustrators, both internationally and within Ireland,’ said Laureate na nÓg, Niamh Sharkey. ‘Showcasing these artists will allow us to demonstrate the range, scope and skill of Irish illustrators and will help to grow our reputation both at home and abroad.’

Pictiúr features the work of 21 children’s book illustrators. Illustrators include P.J. Lynch, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Olivia Golden, Alan Clarke, Steven Simpson and Andrew Whitson. The exhibition will comprise 42 art pieces and will include illustrations from books written in English and Irish.

Featured Illustrators:

Lily Bernard Adrienne Geoghegan Anita Jeram Donough O’Malley
Alan Clarke Olivia Golden Chris Judge Niamh Sharkey
Michael Emberley Chris Haughton P.J. Lynch Steve Simpson
Tatiana Feeney Paul Howard Oisin McGann Kevin Waldron
Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick Oliver Jeffers Mary Murphy Olwyn Whelan
Andrew Whitson

Pictiúr Itinerary:

AUSTRIA 14th -20th March 2013, Festival of Young Readers, Palais Auersperg, Vienna, Austria

The exhibition will be on show for the duration of the festival in central Vienna.  This annual festival attracts more than 8,000 visitors (schools and families) each year.

ITALY 25th to 28th March 2013, Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Bologna Italy.

The Bologna fair, which celebrates 50 years in 2013, is the most significant international trade fair for children’s books and it attracts over 1200 exhibitors coming from 66 countries and 5000 international professional trade representatives. As such, it offers a unique platform for Irish illustration.

BRUSSELS 9th April – 12th April 2013, European Parliament Building

BELGIUM 28th April – 21st May 2013, The Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe

The exhibition will be on show for three weeks in the Leuven Institute.

Irish Tour Autumn 2013
Draoícht, Blanchardstown – 5th September – 5th October 2013

Babaró Festival, Galway Arts Centre – 13th – 31st October 2013

IMMA, Kilmainham, Dublin – December 2013


Full biographies and sample images from the exhibition are available on request and curator Niamh Sharkey is available to interview.


About Laureate na nÓg
Laureate na nÓg is an exciting project recognising the role and importance of literature for children in Ireland. This honour was awarded for the first time in May 2010 to author Siobhán Parkinson. Illustrator Niamh Sharkey is the current laureate, and will hold the title until May 2014. The laureate participates in selected events and activities in Ireland and abroad during their term and is chosen as a result of their internationally recognised body of high quality children’s writing or illustration and the considerably positive impact they have had on readers as well as other writers and illustrators. Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council with the support of The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland, Poetry Ireland and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The programme is administered by Children’s Books Ireland.

For further information, contact 

Mags Walsh, Director, Children’s Books Ireland on 01/8727475 / 086 605 3888  

or Nessa O’Mahony, Project Manager, Laureate na nÓg on 087 9309670. 

Looks like another book I’ve worked on has been shortlisted for the Reics Carlo award.

Tubaiste ar an Titanic was written by Máire Zepf  with illustrations by yours truly. The publishers were Clo Mhaigh Eo

This is award recognises excellence in Irish language publishing.

In 2011 another one of the books I worked on was also nominated – Hiudai Beag

That’s made my friday, who cares if it’s raining!

The winner Gradam Réics Carló will be announced on Wednesday 21 November at a special ceremony at the Sugarclub, Leeson St, Dublin 2.