I was born in the small seaside town of Clonakilty in West Cork in 1957, the second youngest in a family of nine kids. My dad, Jim, was a butcher and my mother, Joan, a full-time - and then some - homemaker.
On graduation from University College Cork in 1978, I moved to London during a period when the city was teeming with Irish emigrants. The traditional Irish music scene was thriving there, and I found myself very drawn to the music.
When I immigrated to the U.S. in 1980, I had intended to stay in Boston for three weeks. But my best-laid plans were shelved when I met singer Lindsay Henes at a session in a pub, The Village Coach House in Brookline Village. We got engaged after three days. We are about to celebrate our 40th anniversary in August.
From 1982 - 1984, I attended grad school at Emerson College, where I indulged my keen interest in radio and broadcasting. During grad school, I broadcast on WERS, Emerson's college radio station. From the various fund-raisers and festivals we produced, I developed a fondness for organizing concerts. I consulted on a project for the Patriots at their stadium in Foxboro in 1984. It was successful, and I was delighted for the offer of a full-time job shortly afterwards. I became the Stadium General Manager in 1987. Up to 2001, I worked on large-scale concerts, NFL football, World Cup Soccer, and eventually helped found and run Major League Soccer. My last involvement was in assisting with the early development of the new stadium.
In 2001, I decided to shift my professional focus back to media, arts, and broadcasting even during the years of my unexpected sports and entertainment career, when I had been hosting a weekly radio program on GBH. Since 2001, we have given A Celtic Sojourn, a straight forward weekly broadcast on GBH radio, much scope. In addition to producing our yearly Christmas Celtic Sojourn, we present several concert series throughout the year. These include A St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn, Summer Celtic Roots and Branches, a new Rockport Celtic Festival, and a weekly club presentation from the Backroom of the Burren. Increasingly, yearly tours of Celtic countries have included Scotland, Ireland, and Galicia in Northern Spain; regular member events at WGBH studios have proliferated. Of course, the pandemic has tempered much of our live activity. Undaunted, we have ventured deep into the world of virtual presentations and are encouraged by the enthusiastic response.
I live in Cambridge, MA and have four grown children: Aoife, Ciaran, Aidan, and Nuala and one grandchild, Ivy Jo, with another expected this June! I list my passions as poetry, music, biking, running, travelling, and conversation.