John Banville is an Irish novelist, an adapter of dramas, and a screenwriter. His novel The Book of Evidence was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guinness Peat Aviation award in 1989. His fourteenth novel, The Sea, won the Booker Prize in 2005. He has also been awarded the Franz Kafka Prize (2011); the Irish PEN Award (2013); the Austrian State Prize for Literature (2013) and the Prince of Asturias Award (2014). He has published a number of crime novels as Benjamin Black, most featuring Quirke, an Irish pathologist based in Dublin.He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2007.
Ronnie Bellew is a freelance journalist and is currently sports feature writer for the Sunday Independent. He has worked on a variety of GAA and Sports publications as well as Ireland on Sunday, the Irish Independent, The Irish Times and the Irish Post.
Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012.
Visit her website at www.maevebinchy.com
Muriel Bolger is a well-known Irish journalist and award-winning travel writer. In addition to her works of fiction she has also written four books on her native city, including Dublin - City of Literature (O'Brien Press), which won the Travel Extra Travel Guide Book of the Year 2012.
Conor Bowman is a native of Galway, Ireland. He is married with four children. He is left-handed.
Niall Breslin, known as Bressie, is an Irish musician and former Westmeath Gaelic footballer and Leinster rugby player, representing Ireland at Under-21 level in the Rugby World Cup. A native of Mullingar, he attended UCD on a sports scholarship, graduating with a BA in Economics and Sociology.He found success as the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter with pop band The Blizzards, as a co-writer and producer with XIX Entertainment, and as a solo artist and music producer. He was the winning coach on the first and third seasons of The Voice of Ireland.His work in the area of mental health education and empowerment began two years ago, after his own struggles with depression and anxiety led him to open up publicly on the issue. His My1000Hours blog and training initiatives set out to explore positive and proactive ways of improving emotional fitness and managing mental stress, including through exercise, as well as educating young people about the stigma and management of mental health issues.
Juliet Bressan is a Dublin-based doctor and the bestselling author of Snow White Turtle Doves, Entanglement and Dead Wicked. She was the script advisor and medical consultant with the award-winning RTE medical drama series The Clinic and is now a tutor in creative writing at the Irish Writers Centre. Juliet is a regular commentator on health and social issues on Irish radio and television and has contributed widely to documentary film and radio in Ireland, in the UK, US and in France. Juliet is currently the resident Television Doctor with TV3's breakfast-time show, Ireland AM. She is married and has two teenage daughters.
Turtle Bunbury is a bestselling author and historian based in Ireland. His nine published books include the Vanishing Ireland series, Sporting Legends of Ireland, The Irish Pub and Living in Sri Lanka. He was also one of the presenters of the acclaimed four part Genealogy Roadshow TV series which aired on Ireland's RTE1 in August and September 2011.www.turtlebunbury.com
Tim Carey is a best-selling historian who has written extensively on Irish history and, in particular, the history of Dublin. Among his publications are the bestselling Mountjoy: The Story of a Prison, Hanged for Ireland, Hanged for Murder and Croke Park: A History. He is Heritage Officer for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council where he started and directed the Mountains to Sea book festival.
Elizabeth Carty was born in Ireland but has spent most of her adult life abroad. She has had a lifelong interest in food, owing her initial palate development to her mother, whom she describes as a fine cook with a modest repertoire. Later, during her time living in London, Greece and Dubai, she was introduced to a wide array of cuisine styles, which inform her cooking today. She returned to Ireland with her son in 2000.
Yvonne Cassidy was born in Dublin in 1974. She studied English and Economics in University College Dublin. She has worked in the field of marketing communications and fundraising in London, Dublin and New York. She enjoys teaching creative writing and teaches extensively in New York, where she has developed writing programmes for homeless and other marginalized writers. She lives in Manhattan with her wife, Danielle.www.yvonnecassidy.com @YvonneCassidyNY
Tony Clayton-Lea is an award-winning freelance journalist who writes primarily on popular culture and travel for publications that include The Irish Times and the Irish Examiner and Cara and Connections magazines. He has written, among other books, a biography of Elvis Costello and co-written a history of Irish rock music. He lives in County Meath with his wife Angela, and their two children, Paul and Sarah. His favourite U2 song is 'Kite'.
2016 Journalist of the Year Michael Clifford is special correspondent with the Irish Examiner. He is also a broadcaster who frequently presents programmes on Irish radio and TV. In 2014, he was also named Journalist of the Year, for his coverage of the Maurice McCabe story. He is author of the non-fiction bestselling titles Love You to Death: Ireland's Wife Killers Revealed, and Bertie Ahern and the Drumcondra Mafia and Scandal Nation (both with Shane Coleman). He is also author of the crime fiction novels The Deal and Ghost Town.
Helena Close was born in Cork in 1959 but moved to Limerick at the age of five. She attended UCG where she studied English and Sociology and has worked in a variety of jobs while rearing her four children. She now writes full-time.
Shane Coleman is the Political Editor of the Sunday Tribune and is a regular analyst of Irish politics on television and radio.
Catherine Conlon (Editor)
Catherine Conlon has a degree in Medicine and is a lecturer in Public Health at UCC. She lives in Cork with her husband and four children.
Sr Consilio Fitzgerald SM trained as a nurse, midwife, and subsequently as a counsellor. In 1966 while working in St Vincent's Hospital in Athy, she first met the 'men of the road' and others who were deeply troubled by addiction. It was from this engagement that Sr Consilio discerned her calling and Cuan Mhuire was established and has grown and developed under her leadership. Today, Cuan Mhuire is Ireland's largest internationally accredited, multi-campus provider of detox and residential rehabilitation services, supported by transition or step-down facilities, which span the whole of the island.On any one night, there are upwards of 600 residents in Cuan Mhuire centres, and every year, more than 3,000 residents participate in their programs for alcohol, drug and gambling addictions. Sr Consilio's work in the Republic has been acknowledged by the President of Ireland, and her work in Northern Ireland by the UK government when she was awarded an OBE from the Queen, as well as by professional and civic bodies for her work with individuals and families in addiction who are homeless and in distress.
Sister Consilio was born in 1937 in Brosna, County Kerry. She was one of seven children and her upbringing in Kerry with her parents and brothers and sisters had a profound effect on her faith, establishing in her a spirituality which has carried her through life.After training as a nurse and midwife, Sister Consilio joined the Sisters of Mercy in Athy, County Kildare at the age of twenty-two. While working in St Vincent's Hospital in Athy, she came into contact with many 'road men' - men who used to travel round with no home to call their own. It was through meeting the 'road men' that Sister Consilio had the idea to provide a place of safety and love for people with no home. There are now five Cuan Mhuire rehabilitation centres throughout Ireland providing help and treatment for those in addiction.Sister Consilio still works at the Cuan Mhuire centres, helping those in need.
Eoghan Corry is a writer and columnist. He is author of eight books onboxing, soccer and GAA history, storylined the GAA museum in Croke Park andis former sports editor of the Sunday Tribune newspaper, MacNamee awardwinner, sports journalist of the year and lecturer on journalism at DIT.
Mary Coughlan was born in County Galway, Ireland the eldest of five children. By the age of 24, she was a housewife with three young children, married to a teacher. Three years later, she became famous across Europe, with the release of her 1884 album, Tired and Emotional, which went on to sell 100,000 copies in Ireland. Her hits include 'Don't Smoke in Bed', the Billie Holiday ballad, 'Good Morning Heartache', as well as Christy Moore's 'Ride On'. Mary now lives in County Dublin with her partner and two children from her second marriage. She is one of Ireland's foremost musicians.