Category Archives: Writing

Novel Research, Kindness and Methodology

My third research trip for my novel started and ended with snow. My flight from Cardiff to Belfast was delayed by 23 inches of it near the airport and by another fall on the return but I encountered nothing other than warmth from the people I met in Northern Ireland.

It was a pleasure to spend time with teachers, schoolchildren, community workers, experts in Irish and Ulster Scots, journalists, farmers and agricultural experts. I also enjoyed two great reading gigs and came home with a prize certificate.

Receiving Commended certificate in Bangor Literary Journal 40 Words Poetry Competition from Poet, Moyra Donaldson

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Research Trip 3

The motto of Belfast on the carpeted floor of the City Hall: For so much received what return can we make? I’m looking forward to returning to Northern Ireland for my third research trip for my novel from 3rd to 19th March.

I hope to be mainly outside the capital this time but here are two of my favourite Belfast buildings: the Art-Deco former Bank of Ireland…

Bank of Ireland, Royal Avenue

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Novel Research, Kindness and Trauma

Research Trip 2 for my novel, from 21st January to 2nd February in Northern Ireland, gave me access to generously shared experience and expertise from writers, sociologists, historians, academics, journalists, teachers and an educationalist, former civil servants, librarians, language activists, clergy, lawyers, a farmer, a statistician, a youth worker and many who shared from the cutting edge of their painfully gained experience.

I was struck too by the kindness with which I was treated.

I cannot do justice to the events and individuals who gave me their time. I will, however, single out, among the public events I attended,  the conference organised by the Ulster University Faculty of Health and Life Sciences: Addressing the Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma and Mental Illness in Northern Ireland.

I had noticed something of a narrative about Northern Ireland along the lines of: the effect of the Troubles is exaggerated; it’s all behind us now and I wanted to get beyond personal opinion to some facts about ‘legacy’ and ‘impact’.

Logo of the Institute of Mental Health Sciences, University of Ulster

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The Writers’ Guild


Executive Committee Member, Wales
Organiser, The Media and Devolution – what do we need to know?
18th September 2013 Chapter Arts Centre
The Pros and Cons of Devolving Control of the Media to Wales – Speaker: Aled Eirug.
A  Guild Members Only event.
Facilitator of the submission from the Guild in Wales to the Commission on Devolution in Wales (Silk) September 2013
Union Learning Adviser for The Writers’ Guild 2009 – 2014
Identifying and responding to members’ training and development needs. ULA information

Martyrdom on Television – St John Roberts and the Small Screen


Photo: Keith O'Brien
Photo: Keith O’Brien

Martyrdom on Television – St John Roberts and the Small Screen

Based on the 60′ documentary Merthyr Meirionnydd, presented by Guto Harri, produced by me for S4C.

Article for Welsh Journal of Religious History (Bangor University, Centre for the Advanced Study of Religion in Wales).