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Victoria Geelan - the music and stories of a young Northern Irish jazz singer who is neither fully Catholic nor Protestant; and neither blind nor partially-sighted.

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4.2/5 (46 ratings)

Documentary maker: Mary Owens (Well Said Productions)

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Victoria Geelan describes herself as “neither/nor”.

She’s neither fully Catholic nor Protestant; neither blind nor partially-sighted. She sings jazz and blues in Derry where she is fondly referred to as a ‘Fenian Jaffa’.

Her father is Protestant, a retired RUC man; her mother is Catholic, a music/drama teacher.

As a teenager, she kept her mixed identity a secret (she had the horrors one day when she accidentally wore a Catholic school blazer to her Protestant school).

One thing she could not keep a secret, though was the fact that she is Albino; albinism is a genetic condition which means she has no pigment in the colour of her hair and skin. She couldn’t blend into the crowd however hard she tried.

Eventually, she became comfortable standing out: Abroad, people marveled at her blonde blonde hair and pale pale skin. Back home, she stood out by appearing on stage and standing for local council election.

She failed to be elected but the experience proved to her that her calling was as a performer.

Victoria is a new voice on the music scene in Northern Ireland. Her debut solo album is ‘Unfit the Picture’. It is an eclectic mix of original songs as well as unique interpretations of jazz, blues and folk classics performed in English, French and Spanish.

The stories she tells in the songs reverberate with humour and passion; stories of identity that resonate with many of her peers in contemporary Northern Ireland – those who are neither a part nor apart.


Producer, Mary Owens, Well Said Productions. Production supervision, Ronan Kelly.

Photos: Gavin Connolly

All songs from the 'Unfit the Picture' album are performed by Victoria Geelan. Title track and 'Canto' are also written by Victoria Geelan

Harp and backing vocals are by Ursula Burns. 'Unlikely Valentine' is written by Ursula Burns

Tracks were recorded and engineered by Cormac O Kane

First broadcast 6th April, 2013.

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