I was born in Dublin and moved to England with my family when I was 6. My parents struggled hard to make ends meet and settle here. My Dad was a bus driver and my mum, looked after us kids and worked part time as a cleaner.
Despite the double shifts and overtime my Dad put in; driving buses never earned enough money to keep up with the mortgage repayments. Things were tough for them and after 10 years of trying to make ends meet decided to return to Dublin With my younger Sister. My brother moved back a few years later too.
I had pretty much lost my Irish accent by then and I was heavily involved in developing my own version of the generation gap. So I stayed in England.
Until I ran out of moneyI
Over the next few years I moved back and forth between Dublin and the UK. I was young and convinced (for a coulee of years at least) that music, meditation, and a hoped for ‘social revolution’ was going to change the world. At the same time I was busying my self exploring the psychedelic universe and as The Grateful Dead sang, ‘ What a long strange trip it’s been…’. Didn’t take too long to realise the world wouldn’t change anytime soon. But that desire for a better world stayed with me even when the hippie dream had ended.
I’ve done lots of different things in my life. I worked in the NHS and Social Care, studied Social Science and Health Ethics as a mature student and spent many years teaching in colleges and universities. My interest in people and a better world got a new lease of life when I started using digital photography and video. Developing my new skills and interests as a Visual Ethnographer I was lucky enough to travel toilets of countries, work with and get to know people from many countries as I developed the Visible Voice network.
These days almost all of my time is spent developing and expressing myself through music. I’ve not had any formal musical training but I’ve been making music since I was a child. One of my earliest musical memories is playing harmonica alongside my Dad when I was about 3 years old. I remember standing beside him and trying to keep up as he played an Irish reel. It was a family get together at my Grandad's flat in East Wall, Dublin, and, for me as a small child, quite intimidating. My Grandad was very big and often seemed quite stern to me. Of course I couldn't play but I just put the harmonica in my mouth and blew along as best I could in time to the beat of my Dad’s foot on the floor. Everyone clapped along, trying to help me stay in time, laughing as they watched me concentrating on playing in my serious three year old way.