On Stage-Under the Hawthorn Tree

20160617_164026What an emotional experience to see Under the Hawthorn Tree staged by Northern Ireland’s wonderful theatre company, Cahoots, in the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh.  I was so excited, as I had been very impressed when I attended the rehearsals in Belfast.

An amazing cast brought the story of Eily, Michael and Peggy to life. Music, song and the haunting Uileann pipes all added to the drama of one family’s fight to survive during Ireland’s Great Famine. The play was adapted by Charles Way and directed by Paul Bosco McEneaney.

IMG_0408The Ulster American Folk Park is a great place to stage it, as I as visited it to research my books. The Park now holds Hawthorn Days in the spring.

The play opened on Tuesday 21st June and will run there until 1st July.  There are two shows a day and tickets must be booked with the Ulster American Folk Park.


Book Clubs – Rebel Sisters

Book Club IllustrationIt is great to see Rebel Sisters become such a big Book Club choice. It is a great honour to have so many book clubs all over the country reading and discussing my new novel based on the lives of the Gifford sisters. Rebel Sisters was also a Sean O’ Rourke’s RTE Radio Show Book Club choice.

There is a huge interest in the changing lives of women of the period leading up to 1916 and the complexities of Irish history which would see a family like the Giffords, loyal to the crown and empire, torn apart. As their brothers enlisted to fight in the Great War, Muriel, Grace and Nellie found themselves instead caught up in plans for the Nationalist rebellion.

Writing a book about three young women who were so deeply involved at the very heart of the 1916 Rising was certainly a very big subject to take on but I am so please at the huge interest in the book and the fact that it has encouraged so many readers to delve further into the events of 1916.

I had a lovely time speaking at a big Book Club lunch held in Elm Park Golf Club in Dublin where I had the chance to meet lovely readers from different book clubs, who had lots of questions and insights into the book.

Thank you to all my wonderful Book Club readers!