Drivetime - Columnists

Hear Joe O'Connor's Radio Diary every Wednesday on Drivetime with Mary Wilson
Hear Joe O'Connor's Radio Diary every Wednesday on Drivetime with Mary Wilson

Joseph O'Connor

Award-winning novelist Joseph O'Connor is known worldwide for his novels such as Star of the Sea, which sold over a million copies. In recent times he has been delighting a new audience with his widely acclaimed radio diaries for for RTE's Drivetime programme.

You can hear Joe O'Connor's Radio Diary every Wednesday on Drivetime With Mary Wilson, or you can listen to a podcast of his recordings here.

New Island is delighted to publish Joseph O'Connor's The Irish Male: His Greatest Hits. "If laughing out loud is the only exercise you get, then read Joseph O'Connor" - Roddy Doyle

Award-winning novelist Joseph O'Connor is known worldwide for his novels such as Star of the Sea, which sold over a million copies. In recent times he has been delighting a new audience with his widely acclaimed radio diaries for for RTE's Drivetime programme.

In this new book which combines the new radio diary pieces with a selection of his classic journalism and non-fiction, including his side-splitting account of Ireland's soccer adventures at the 1994 World Cup, Joseph O'Connor tells tales that both parody and illuminate the strange times in which we live.

Here is fear and loathing, pity and terror, country and western. From love, rock'n'roll and football, to more trivial matters such as the search for international peace and the craving for philosophical enlightenment, these vivid snapshots build into a perceptive and hilarious portrait of Irish life, both at home and abroad.

From losing his heart at a flirting class in Manhattan to interviewing Lord Archer in a gracious London penthouse, from enduring the book-publicity trail to becoming a father, The Irish Male: His Greatest Hits is a suitcase stuffed with self-mockeries, belly-laughs and insightful raps and rhymes. And all the time, he displays an eye for the absurd, a lightness of touch, and a recession-busting comic spirit.

"If you need to spend an afternoon with a silly grin, and sometimes tears of laughter, this is your only man." - The Irish Times

Joseph O'Connor was born in Dublin. Among his books are the novels Cowboys and Indians (shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize), Desperadoes, The Salesman and Inishowen, a collection of short stories True Believers, and Sweet Liberty: Travels in Irish America. His novel Star of the Sea was an international bestseller, selling more than 1 million copies and winning an American Library Association Award, the Nielsen-Bookscan Golden Book Award, the Irish Post Award for Fiction, France's Prix Millepages, ad the Prix Littéraire Européen Zepter for best European novel of the year.

It has been published in thirty-six languages. Its sequel Redemption Falls received rave reviews internationally. The Guardian pronounced it 'a major work of modern fiction by an astonishingly accomplished writer.' He has also written stage-plays, including the award-winning Red Roses and Petrol. He is the 2010 Harman Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Baruch College, City University of New York.

You can hear Joe O'Connor's Radio Diary every Wednesday on Drivetime With Mary Wilson, or you can listen to a podcast of his recordings here.

Olivia O'Leary

Olivia O'Leary is an Irish journalist, writer and current affairs presenter.

Educated at St Leo's College, Carlow and at University College Dublin, she worked with the Nationalist and Leinster Times in Carlow. In the late 1970s she began working for The Irish Times as parliamentary sketchwriter.

In 1972 she joined RTÉ as a current affairs presenter and later worked as a presenter on Today Tonight and Questions and Answers. She became the first regular female senior presenter of the BBC's current affairs programme, Newsnight and also presented First Tuesday, a monthly documentary strand produced by Yorkshire Television for ITV.

O'Leary won three Jacob's Awards during her broadcasting career with RTÉ. Her first came in 1973 for her work as a radio news reporter. In 1982, she won her second Jacob's Award for her hosting of Today Tonight. Her chairing of Questions and Answers brought her a third award in 1986. She has also won a Sony Award for her BBC Radio 4 programme Between Ourselves.

She has co-authored the book Mary Robinson: The Authorised Biography, with Dr. Helen Burke, and in 2004 wrote Politicians and Other Animals, a sketch on Irish politics.

She was Chairperson of the Office of the Ombudsman's 20th Anniversary Conference.

Olivia is now a regular contributor to the Drivetime programme.

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Aras '18 Candidates

Interviews with candidates for the presidency

Olivia O'Leary

Olivia O'Leary asks will he stay or will he go?

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