The short version: Rabid American/Irish consumer of film, theater, books, music, TV, radio. Journalist. Based in NYC. Thinking a lot about identity, hyphenation and belonging.
The saga: Born in New York to a single Irish mother, raised part of the time in Clontarf, Dublin 3. The family had a lot of ties to the newspaper business; some of the relatives back in Kells founded the Meath Chronicle, and my grandfather was a newspaperman his whole life. He started out in Kells and settled in Dublin after 1916. Over the course of his life, he wrote for the Irish Independent, the Dublin Evening Mail, the Irish Press and he served for over thirty years as the New York Times Dublin correspondent.
It was a blissful childhood, the wonderful summers of playing with my friends on our road, walks to the Bull Wall with the dog, Sundays at Dollymount beach (even if you needed a cardie over your swimsuit), riding lessons every week (affordable then, even on a middle class income), and long lazy days just fluthering about. Even the teen years were fun (well, when we were back in Ireland, at least), experimenting with make-up, first kisses and dancing at The Grove.
Now, as an adult, I have an ever greater appreciation for how very hard my mother and grandparents worked to make that time a happy one, because they were all dealing with a lot of family drama behind the scenes that I only discovered many years later.
After a decade of covering a very different beat, I’m planting my right foot to set off on a very different road, yielding to the impetus to write about that which is closest to home: the very many rich and varied cultural offerings here in New York by the Irish and Irish-Americans living or passing through here. In between, I’ll add to the mix an occasional travel piece and others about my experiences as someone whose identity includes a hypen.
I hope you’ll enjoy what you find here and I invite you to please do share your thoughts and reactions to what you read.