Steve Cooney is best known for his development of an influential style of guitar accompaniment to the traditional dance music of West Kerry, for which he won the National Entertainment Award in 1997. Born in Australia, he came to Ireland in 1980. He has participated in making more than 250 CD's, either as a guitar or bass player or as producer and engineer. A poet and songwriter, he has worked with many iconic international artists in rock and country music but his primarily focus is Irish traditional music, and fusions of that genre. His CD release of solo guitar interpretations of ancient harp tunes won in three categories at the 2020 RTÉ Folk Awards, where he was also given a Lifetime Achievement award. He was named TG4 Composer of the Year in 2021. He was awarded a Ph.D. in 2018 for an intuitive musical notation system that he invented for early learners and those with difficulties reading staff notation
Vincent Morley was born and raised in Dublin, although his grandfather hailed from Rathmore in Kerry. He holds an M.Phil. in Irish studies from UCD and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Liverpool. He took early retirement from the public service in 2020 and now writes fulltime. Among his books are Irish Opinion and the American Revolution, 1760-1783 (Cambridge University Press, 2002), Ó Chéitinn go Raiftearaí: Mar a Cumadh Stair na hÉireann(Coiscéim, 2011), The Popular Mind in Eighteenth-century Ireland (Cork University Press, 2017) and Cúrsaí Staire: Aistí ar an Stair, ar Staraithe agus ar Scríobh na Staire (Coiscéim, 2018).
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Born 1942 in Cork, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin taught English Renaissance literature at Trinity College, Dublin from 1966 to 2011. She was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2016-19. She has published eleven collections of poetry; the latest, The Mother House, received the Irish Times/ Poetry Now award in 2019. Her Collected Poems appeared in 2020 from Gallery Press and was awarded the Pigott Prize at the Listowel Writers’ Week in 2021. She has published translations of poetry from several languages, most recently Dánta Antonella Anedda, translated from Italian into Irish, published by Cois Life in 2019. Lucina Schynning in Silence of the Nicht (poems translated into Chinese) was published by Sichuan Ethnic Publishing Company, Chengdu, in 2020. She was one of four founding editors, with her late husband Macdara Woods, Pearse Hutchinson and Leland Bardwell, of the literary magazine Cyphers, and remains its principal editor.
Bríd Ní Mhóráin
The natural world is a bottomless well of exhilaration and inspiration for Bríd Ní Mhóráin. She lives in Corca Dhuibhne but has deep roots in Uíbh Ráthach. An Sagart published he M. Lit. thesis on the decline of the Irish language in the peninsula under the title Thiar sa Mhainistir atá an Ghaolainn bhreá(1997). Her latest poetry collection, Flóra na Samhlaíochta, is her ninth, and she received a bursary from Ealaín na Gaeltachta to work on it. It was initially inspired by Flóra Chorca Dhuibhne by Máirín Uí Chonchubhair (Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, 1995). The same body funded her term as writer in residence with Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne from 2003 to 2015.
Iarla Ó Lionáird
Iarla Ó Lionáird was born in Cúil Aodha, in the West Cork Gaeltacht. His father was a teacher, and his mother and grandmother were traditional singers. He qualified as a primary school teacher at Carysfort College and taught for seven years before embarking on a career as a singer. He uses different genres of singing – Irish traditional singing, Celtic and experimental. Nationally and internationally recognised, he has sung in venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House. “An Buachaillín, Bán”, “Casadh an tSúgáin” and “Samhradh, Samhradh” are among the songs for which he is famous. He holds a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick. He lives in Kilkenny with his wife Eimear and their three children.
Olivia O’Leary has presented current affairs programmes for the last three decades for both RTÉ and the British channels BBC and ITV. She is the presenter of RTE Radio 1’s The Poetry Programme. She has recently presented a two hour television documentary, Daniel O’Connell: Forgotten King of Ireland, for RTÉ 1.
Mícheál Ó Siochrú
Mícheál Ó Siochrú was born in Ballinskelligs in the Iveragh Gaeltacht. He now lives in Lios na gCroí, County Limerick. He is married to Joan, a Limerick woman. It was Joan who introduced him to a wide range of modern poets. The oral tradition was very strong in Ballinskelligs and Mícheál really enjoyed Irish. A lot of his poetry is in Irish but in recent years he has written a lot in English. He has written short stories and a novels but he prefers to write poetry nowadays. Mícheál taught Irish, English and History for a number of years in Limerick. Scáil an Scéil is his latest poetry book and it was launched at Éigse na Brídeoige 2019. His most recent book Na Cócha Móra won Duais an Oireachtais in 2021.
Ríonach Uí Ógáin
Ríonach Uí Ógáin is emeritus Professor and a former director of The Irish Folklore Collection at University College, Dublin. She has published extensively in the area of traditional singing and music, material which is in both print and recorded form. She has edited the travel diaries of Seamus Ennis, which were published as Mise an fear ceoil: Séamus Ennis Dialann Taistil 1942-1946, which was published in English as Going to the Well for Water. With Tom Sherlock, she published The Otherworld: Music and Song from Irish Tradition. From 2009 to 2018 she edited Béaloideas: Iris an Chumainn le Béaloideas Éireann. Her most recent book is Colm Ó Caodháin: An Irish Singer and His World.
Paddy Bushe was born in Dublin in 1948, and has lived in Uíbh Ráthach since 1973. He was the founding director of Éigse na Brídeoige in 1993. A poet, translator and editor in both English and Irish, he has published up to twenty books. Recently, he was awarded a Ph.D. in creative writing from University College, Cork. His dissertation, The Amergin Step, is a personal and creative exploration of the landscape of Uíbh Ráthach and the literature – in the broadest sense of that word – which is intertwined with that landscape. A book based on that dissertation will be published over the coming years.