I was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1955 and received most of my education in Belvedere College. After school I worked at commercial art in a small company for five years, and then spent the rest of my career working in our national broadcasting station, RTÉ, as a sound operator and then as a vision mixer (switcher). During my last few years I also became a technical director. I am now retired, and spend my time reading, writing, playing music and walking. Exploring other countries and cultures has always been one of my passions.
As well as writing some articles for Wikipedia, I have also written two biographies that have been published by the Lilliput Press in Dublin: one about my father Cathal Gannon, who was a carpenter, piano restorer and harpsichord maker, and one about John Beckett, who was a musician, composer and conductor, and a cousin of the famous Samuel Beckett. For details about the biographies, click here.
I am a music teacher and typesetter born and living in Dublin.
My preferred mode of transport is a Pashley PDQ recumbent bike.
I am a viola da gamba player and perform with The Dublin Viols.
I have also been seen brandishing a ukulele.
My website is Recumbentman’s Blog.
I am a former secondary schoolteacher and librarian with a lifelong interest in Irish history and genealogy, particularly relating to County Waterford. I have researched, lectured and written on different aspects of Waterford history, including the role played by Waterford merchants in eighteenth-century France and Spain. During the 1990s I worked at Waterford Heritage Genealogical Centre, where among other assignments I undertook the conservation of Waterford Cathedral Library. I was then employed at the library of University College Cork in the cataloguing of older printed books. Since my ‘retirement’ in 2006, I have been Resident Historian at Dunhill Multi-Education Centre in County Waterford, where I lecture on aspects of local history.
I am the author of The Royal Charters of Waterford and of many articles in historical journals, especially The Irish Genealogist and Decies, and am a former editor of both journals. My most recent publications are On This Day, Volumes One and Two, which comprise historical snippets based on a series that I presented on Waterford Local Radio between 1994 and 2012.
I am currently researching the history of Curraghmore, seat of the Marquis of Waterford, with the assistance of Willie Fraher and Marianna Lorenc. I am also an active member of the Bookplate Society.
My birthplace, Cambridge in England, its jazz clubs, concert halls and King’s College Chapel set my musical tastes, and I became an avid choral singer during my schooldays and after I came to Dublin in 1963. My broadcasting career began in the 1980s, singing with the RTÉ Chorus and the Camerata Singers, and compiling and presenting programmes for RTÉ, primarily of early and choral music. In 1987 I helped to found the Early Music Organisation of Ireland, which ran five International Early Music Festivals, and to initiate the setting up of Ireland’s first period instrument orchestra, which subsequently became the Irish Baroque Orchestra.
In the early ’90s I was a key influence in the launching of the Sunday night RTÉ FM3 jazz slot, and contributed over eighty programmes of Con Tempo, covering the jazz of today. I presented the first series of Gloria in 1997; it was one of the few programmes to be transferred from FM3 Music to RTÉ Lyric FM and featured every Sunday for eighteen years.
In 2011 a companion Gloria book with CD was published by Associated Editions, which reached number two in the best sellers in Hodges Figgis that Christmas. Since the demise of Gloria I have much enjoyed lecturing on music of many kinds in the National Concert Hall and in the Lexicon, the lovely new Library in Dun Laoghaire. Last year they published two booklets titled Recommended Listening.
I live in County Dublin, close to the sea. I am a keen hillwalker, and have climbed many of the mountains in Ireland and trekked abroad. I studied Irish and French in University College Dublin, and am an avid Francophile who loves the local food, culture, and language. I spend a month each year in Grenoble in south-eastern France, where I attend language courses and join in the activities of the local hiking clubs. Travel is another of my passions.
I worked for many years in RTÉ as a researcher on an assortment of television programmes, such as the Late Late Show, Kenny Live, and Irish language programmes.
Currently I work as a freelance researcher with independent companies.
I was born in Dublin, Ireland and I now divide my time between there and my home in rural Wexford.
Having spent most of my working life in television production with RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, I took the plunge and went freelance.
About ten years ago I decided to leave the world of television behind and write. Having been highly commended in the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Competition in the Wexford Literary Festival, this gave me the encouragement to work on the ideas for novels that had been niggling at the back of my brain for years. In 2020, being shortlisted in their ‘Meet the Publisher’ competition led to my success in getting a three-book publishing deal with Poolbeg Press.
The inspiration for the ‘Lives’ series came as a result of researching my own family tree and helping others start on their genealogical journeys. During the process I gathered a host of ideas for stories that just had to be written – and hence my historical fictional ‘Lives’ trilogy was born.
My debut novel ‘Lives Apart’ was published in November 2020, followed by ‘Lives Without End’ in May 2021. The third book in the series is scheduled for publication in spring 2022.
I grew up in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, and studied oboe privately with Derek Bell in Belfast, and with Neil Black in London, at the Royal Academy of Music.
From 1963–1979 I played oboe and cor anglais in the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, and in 1970 co-founded the New Irish Chamber Orchestra (NICO), continuing as player/manager until the end of 1980.
In 1995 I was invited to become Manager/Artistic Director of the Orchestra of St Cecilia (OSC), a position I held until my retirement in 2014.
After my retirement I lodged the Archives of NICO and OSC in Special Collections, Dublin City Public Library, Pearse Street.
My book, entitled The Manager’s Tale: New Irish Chamber Orchestra 1970–1980 was published in 2019 by Somerville Press Ltd., Bantry, Co. Cork.
The New Irish Chamber Orchestra can be heard on SoundCloud. Included is the live recording of Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony in C minor, performed in the presence of the composer at a concert in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, on Wednesday, 5th July 1972.
The Orchestra of St Cecilia performed all 200 of Bach’s Church Cantatas over ten years and sixty concerts in St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin, during 2001–2010. Selected performances from the Complete Series are on YouTube.