Book On One
The Book ON ONE presents a mix of celebrated classic stories, international and Irish language writing, as well as the best new fiction and memoir selected for their timeless appeal.
It broadcasts nightly from Monday to Friday at 11.20pm during RTÉ Radio 1's 'Late Date' and is read by the authors of the book or by a professional reader.
In 10 edited excerpts Thomas Kilroy recounts his upbringing in the small town of Callan, Co Kilkenny to the beginning of his career as one of Ireland’s most distinguished playwrights.
Callan and its environs, he says, was home to two inspirational figures whom he respected and whom he got to know and admire: the artist Tony O'Malley and the essayist and campaigner Hubert Butler.
Thomas Kilroy’s parents, both active in Ireland's war of independence, differed in their views post Independence. His father was pro-Treaty – a police sergeant who found solace in greyhounds and gambling. His mother was anti-Treaty. Together, they were emblems of divided loyalty in a newly independent country. Kilroy describes himself as coming from the last generation who experienced at first hand through the stories his parents told him, that period of Ireland's history.
He recounts his education in Kieran’s College, Kilkenny where Hurling was central to a boy’s education, and University College Dublin, where he auditor of the Literary Society and began his immersion into theatre making.
He remembers when still in his mid-20s he was appointed Principal of Stratford College, the Dublin Jewish School. His fascinating recall of journeying in the American Deep South is includes his intriguing visit to writer Flannery O'Connor.
Back in Dublin as a junior lecturer at UCD in 1967 he won a BBC Radio play competition for his play The Door, introducing him to a medium which he loves and in which he has worked in since along the years.
He relates how his first two stage plays - 'The O'Neill' and 'The Death and Resurrection of Mr Roche' - made their way into production and on to the stage. And in conclusion Kilroy remembers the opening night of the latter play during the Dublin Theatre Festival and how its director Jim FitzGerlad turned to him in the wings and whispered to him: 'your life will never be the same again'.
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