Declan O'Donnell is a judge on RTÉ's Home of the Year, as well as the Creative Director and Founding Partner of ODKM Architects in Dublin. Born in Belfast, Declan studied at Queen's University Belfast and the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow before working at Foster + Partners in London. He returned to Dublin in 2009 when she set up ODKM Architects.
Hugh O'Donovan is a Registered Psychologist (Work), Performance Coach and former Army Officer. As well as being Principal of Hugh O'Donovan and Associates (www.hoda.ie), Hugh has a passionate interest in and commitment to applying the best practice, evidence-based insights of psychology (positive), coaching psychology and contemplative neuroscience, in order to enhance the life experience, work performance and well-being of individuals, groups and organisations. Hugh is Co-Founder of the 1st Masters in Coaching Psychology to be delivered in an Irish University (UCC) and Programme Co-Director on the Higher Diploma in Coaching/Coaching Psychology, also in UCC. He is an honorary Vice-President of the International Society for Coaching Psychology, published author in the coaching domain and conference speaker. He lives in Cork with his wife Michele and his daughters Aoife and Jean. In his spare time, he likes to cook, trek to high remote places, enjoy good company and explore archaeological artefact, and preferably all at the one time. His next trip is to Patagonia.
Sheila O'Flanagan is the author of many bestselling novels including If You Were Me, Someone Specialand Bad Behaviour. She worked in finance for several years, but always dreamed of writing fiction, and she is now a full-time writer, with over twenty bestselling novels published. She lives in Dublin with her husband. www.sheilaoflanagan.comTwitter @sheilaoflanagan Facebook.com/sheilabooks
Alan O'Mara is a Gaelic footballer with Cavan and an Ulster u21 champion. In 2013, when he was just twenty-two years of age, he went public about his experience with depression.Since then, Alan has become a leading mental health advocate in Ireland and is an ambassador to the HSE's 'Little Things' campaign and the Gaelic Player's Association.In 2016, Alan founded 'Real Talks' to facilitate discussions on the importance of mental health, effective communication, personal leadership and resilience in schools, the workplace, sports teams and other communities.
Patricia O'Reilly is a writer and researcher and has written extensively for Irish newspapers and magazines. She is a regular contributor to radio - documentaries, plays, Sunday Miscellany, Quiet Quarter - as well as a lecturer/trainer in various aspects of writing.
Gail O'Rorke was born and raised in Crumlin, Dublin. She left school at an early age and was the mother of two children by the age of twenty. She married her lifelong partner at the age of twenty one and has lived in Tallaght since 1990. She comes from a turbulent background and overcame many obstacles in her early years. She worked in a variety of cleaning jobs one of which led her to meet a lady named Bernadette Forde who was a sufferer of multiple sclerosis. The loyalty and love of friendship that ensued resulted in her being the first person in the history of Ireland to be charged with the crime of assisting a suicide. After many years of fear and worry, she was acquitted on 28 April 2015 at the Central Criminal Court of Justice after a gruelling three-week trial. She continues to be an advocate for the right to die with dignity campaign. She now enjoys life surrounded by her partner Barry, their two grown children and three grandchildren.
Leagues O'Toole is a Dublin-born journalist and broadcaster. Graduating from the world of fanzine publishing, he became a well-known music writer and champion of leftfield artists. For three years, he presented and researched the No Disco music programme for RTE television, focusing on independent and innovative music and video production. As part of that series, he made a critically acclaimed documentary about Planxty. He is currently the editor of the Foggy Notions music magazine and regularly presents and produces programmes for Today FM. The Humours of Planxty is his first book.
Cynthia Owen is married and lives in the UK.
Dublin-born crime author Louise Phillips won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year Award for The Doll's House, her bestselling second novel, in 2013. Red Ribbons (2012), Last Kiss (2014) and The Game Changer (2015) which also feature criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson and DI O'Connor, were each shortlisted for the award. Louise's work has been published as part of various anthologies and literary journals. She has won the Jonathan Swift Award, was a winner in the Irish Writers' Centre Lonely Voice platform, and her writing has been shortlisted for prizes such as the Molly Keane Memorial Award and Bridport UK.
Brent Pope is a well-known New Zealand rugby analyst and sports personality who has been living and working in Ireland for many years.
Suzanne was born in 1968, into a family of postmen. A voice from the adult word said that writers did not earn a living, but journalists did. So Suzanne set her cap at that profession. She entered it at the age of 16, writing letters to newspapers. Some were published. She went to college and went on to have a career as a print and television journalist, presenter and producer in Britain, Northern and Southern Ireland. She has worked for Fleet Street, BBC, London Weekend Television, women's magazines, Ulster Television, RTE, the Irish national broadcasting station. She has been a Features Editor, a primetime presenter, a producer. In 1994 she phoned in sick one day and wrote 5,000 words on an ex prisoner and an ex nun called Broken Teapots. It was one of the winners of the prestigious Fish Short Story Competition which attracts entries from all over the world. Roddy Doyle was the judge that year. The following year she was short-listed in the same competition, judged by Germaine Greer. Then she got rejected a few times. Then she got distracted by journalism. She wrote a book on women's well being which was very well received. Being You allowed her to interview women from all walks of life about the natural conditions of their existence and the strength and hurt and inspiration they drew from it.Her first novel, The Lost Souls's Reunion was well reviewed and published in a number of different countries. Factual work has always allowed her to explore people - young and old. She has heard all their voices. Now they carry characters that belong to stories she is putting down.She got sick and had to resign from mainstream journalism. It took two years of stillness for her to work this out, but she has done so. She is back to active life, but has not announced her arrival since two boys arrived at the same time in 2001 and she is kept busy looking after them.She is consumed with interest for people and the world. This has led to some extraordinary situations, like the head of immigration in Northern Pakistan sending musicians to serenade her at dawn, taking her to no rules polo games, bending over backwards to get her into China across the Khunjerab Pass. Taking a mouth rather than mind-altering substance in a Borneo longhouse with a group of cackling women who insisted on stripping her naked and dressing her in full ceremonial gear. Her tongue was not working, so she could not object. Her then father-in-law fielded written proposals of marriage from an ardent tribesman who eventually grew threatening. She was shot at in the Australian outback, having been mistaken for a rabbit. She saw ghosts at the top of Asia's highest mountain and a man died of stab wounds in front of her in Cambodia. She lived in the back of a car for three months and has spent a night alone in the wilderness banishing ghosts. She writes a column for the Evening Herald on Friday's and for a decade she was the profiles writer and literary editor of IT Magazine and reviews. She's also been a columnist for Ireland on Sunday, Woman's Way and U magazines over the past decade. She makes regular appearances on radio and television to talk about oddities. They pay her for this and she still cannot figure out why. She is a profile writer, this has given her the opportunity to meet everyone from FW de Klerk to Isabel Allende. Her short stories and travel writing have been published in a number of different anthologies. She lives with her partner, a special needs education expert and lecturer in early childhood education and care. They have twin boys
Stefanie Preissner, Munich-born but Mallow-raised, is the creator of hit comedy-drama series Can't Cope, Won't Cope. The show was originally commissioned by RTÉ but since then both seasons have been broadcast on BBC and acquired by Netflix. Why Can't Everything Just Stay the Same?, her first book (published in 2017), was an Irish bestseller and nominated for an Irish Book Award. Can I Say No?, her second book, will publish in the summer of 2019.She has also produced a series of short documentaries, How To Adult, with RTÉ Player.Her one-woman theatre show, Solpadeine Is My Boyfriend, enjoyed sell-out runs in Dublin before touring internationally to Bucharest, Edinburgh and Australia, and - as a radio play - it became RTÉ's most downloaded podcast.Stefanie graduated from University College Cork with a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies and Spanish. Alongside her career as a screenwriter and playwright, she has won several awards as an actor.She is a regular contributor to Ireland's Sunday Independent newspaper and her voice is well-recognised from her prolific voiceover career. She is currently working more projects than she can cope with due to her ongoing battle with people pleasing. She lives in Dublin and on Instagram @stefaniepreissner
Deirdre Purcell was born and brought up in Dublin, and educated there and in a County Mayo convent. Before turning to the writing of fiction, she lived through an eclectic set of careers, including acting, as a member of the permanent company of Ireland`s National Theatre (The Abbey), and journalism for all media - for which she won Ireland's top awards. She has written numerous fiction and non-fiction bestsellers and for six years, presented 'What It Says in the Papers' slot for RTE's Morning Ireland programme, leaving in 2018 to concentrate on her writing.
Born in Dublin in 1946, Ruairi Quinn qualified as an architect before standing for election in 1973. He has had a number of high-profile positions in various cabinets (Minister of Labour 1984-87, Minister of Finance 1994-97) and was Leader of the Labour Party from 1997 to 2002. He has three children. Malachi and Síne from his first marriage and Conan from his second.
Martina Reilly, formerly known as the author Tina Reilly, lives in County Kildare with her husband and two children. Catch up with Martina on her website www.tinareilly.info, on Facebook or on Twitter @MartinaReilly
Jennifer Rock is an award-winning skin lecturer and a multi-award winning dermal facialist and aesthetician. She is the founder of The Skin Nerd online skin consultancy and the Cleanse Off Mitt makeup removal tool. She has lectured alongside world-renowned dermatologists such as Dr. Marc Ronert of IMAGE Skincare and Dr. Ahmar Khan, the co-creator of the London Harley Street Medical Hospital.Jennifer realised her passion for skin health when she was brought for her first facial by her mother at the tender age of thirteen. After years of working as a skin therapist, lecturing worldwide and being the brand ambassador for multiple cosmeceutical skincare brands, she became The Skin Nerd, using social media to get skinformation out there, sometimes through the medium of song.Nowadays, you'll find her standing at the helm of The Skin Nerd HQ, on television, in the pages of well-known publications and speaking on the radio. Her end goal is to put as many people as possible on the road to skin health.
Kari Rosvall was born in Norway in 1944, during the Second World War. She grew up and spent her early life in Sweden, and in 1997 moved to Ireland, which she now considers her home, with her husband Sven.
Internationally bestselling author Patricia Scanlan was born in Dublin, where she still lives. Her novels, including the renowned City Girl trilogy, have sold over 1.4 million copies in Ireland alone, and many more millions worldwide, and her work is translated in many languages. Her most recent novels include With All My Love, A Time For Friends, and Orange Blossom Days.Patricia is the series editor and a contributing author to the award winning Open Door Literacy series. She has had an abiding interest in Metaphysical and Esoteric studies for many years and her spiritual book, Winter Blessings, was another bestseller. Writing Bringing Death to Life with her three best friends, soul family and fellow authors, Aidan Story, Pamela Young and Dr. Mary Helen Hensley, is the culmination of a spiritual journey together, which has been inspiring, invigorating, hilarious, and very rewarding.Find out more by visiting Patricia's Facebook page at Facebook.com/PatriciaScanlanAuthor Twitter @patriciascanl18
Susan Stairs lives in Dublin with her family. She is the acclaimed author of The Story of Before and The Boy Between.www.susanstairs.com
Rob Stears is an illustrator living in Dublin with his wife and son. He started doodling at an early age and has yet to stop. Why I Love My Mum is his first book. See more at www.robstears.ie