Health and lifestyle features
I have always been interested in writing across health and lifestyle and have written extensively in these areas. I am particularly interested in writing health and lifestyle features relating to the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBT life in rural Ireland: ‘You can feel like you’re the only one’: I wrote this feature for The Irish Times looking at the experiences of the LGBT community in rural parts of Ireland. I interviewed four people with direct experience and also included my own experience of growing up gay in Roscommon.
Finding your Irish family: ‘Looking out the airplane window I cried’: I spoke to Americans who have traced their roots back to Ireland for this powerful feature.
How to protect your digital wellbeing: This feature looks at ways we can reduce our screen time and protect our digital wellbeing.
How to survive Christmas with a difficult family: Christmas can be stressful at the best of times, but that pressure is even worse when you have a difficult family. This feature looks at ways people can protect their own mental health at Christmas when dealing with challenging family members.
Hallucinations, tremors and sleep issues: when dementia doesn’t mean memory loss: There are so many misconceptions around about dementia. One of these misconceptions is that dementia always means memory loss. But this is not always the case, particularly for those with Lewy Body dementia. I wrote this feature investigating the issue.
Ditch the beach body, and love your lumps and bumps: This feature can be seen here. For this piece, I spoke to mental health professionals about the why people should learn to love their bodies for what they are instead of constantly trying to improve them.
Living with the ‘sissy issue’ of men’s eating disorders: For this feature, I spoke to mental health professionals and a man who lives with an eating disorder about the stigma that men who have these disorders face.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: an invisible and untreatable illness: For this feature, I spoke to a number of people who are living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a frequently misunderstood condition.
Why don’t men go to the doctor? For this feature, I spoke to health professionals about some of the reasons that men are less likely to go to the doctor than women.
Not everyone will trust HR. Instead you need ‘staff champions’: For this feature I spoke to mental health professionals about what organisations are doing to improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, and how they can avoid it becoming a ‘tick the box’ exercise.
‘The pool is my safe place’: Swim your way to contentment: For this feature, I spoke to a woman who has used swimming to help her cope with her anxiety. I also spoke to other experts and spokespeople about the health benefits of swimming and why so many people find it helps to relieve stress.
How to get fit without going to a gym: For this feature, I looked at different ways people can get fit without a gym subscription.
Momo challenge: how the viral hoax took on a life of its own: Many people will remember the brief moment in time when the Momo challenge was all people could talk about. The ‘challenge’ was ultimately a hoax. I wrote about the phenomenon for The Irish Times here.
Cyclists share videos as they feel let down by gardaí: I wrote this feature for The Irish Times looking at the issues facing cyclists in Ireland.
Is Ireland still no country for young people? Ireland’s economy has recovered since the dark days of the recession – but that doesn’t necessarily mean things are perfect for young people. I wrote this feature looking at the issues facing young people in Ireland today.
What is an escape room and is it safe to go to one? I wrote this article following the tragic deaths of five teenage girls in an escape room in Poland.
Why are students so poor at Irish after 12 years of school? For this feature, I spoke to Irish band Seo Linn about some of the ways they are trying to make the Irish language fun and accessible for children.
The last days of Ireland’s gay saunas: For this feature, I spoke to two men who frequent gay saunas about what they get from these experiences and if they are likely to continue to exist for much longer.
‘Sex for rent’ in Ireland: massages, modelling, no money: For this feature, I investigated Ireland’s ‘Sex for Rent’ adverts and contacted the men advertising for these situations for comment.
Smart initiative by Peter McVerry Trust breathes new life into vacant city homes: For this feature, I went out with the Peter McVerry Trust to see the homes they were renovating to give homeless people a place to live.
‘Mum wouldn’t mind’: When adult children abuse their parents: For this feature, I spoke to people working with victims of elder abuse about some of the insidious signs that an older person is being abused.
DNA tests: ‘According to this, we’re cousins, but I’ve never heard of you’: For this feature, I spoke to people who have discovered they have Irish ancestry through DNA tests, and also spoke to a DNA expert about the pros and cons of these widely accessible, online tests.
When home is a tent: ‘You’re up all night, freezing cold, pissed on’: For this feature, I went out on the streets of Dublin to talk to homeless people who have taken to living in tents.
Homing in on the referendum: For this feature, I spoke to young Irish people abroad who were coming home to vote in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the constitution, which banned abortion in almost all circumstances in Ireland.
Arts and Culture
I have always been interested in writing about arts and culture. My journalism career began while I was still studying at University College Dublin (UCD) where I served as Arts and Literature Editor of my student newspaper. I am still very passionate about arts journalism.
One man hurled a transphobic slur and a burger. Nobody did anything: I had the absolute privilege of interviewing trans performance artist Travis Alabanza for The Irish Times. Travis has created a powerful show called Burgerz which deals with transphobia in our society. Read the interview here.
Kate Bush: The Heathcliff, Peter Pan and Othello connections: Kate Bush is one of the most acclaimed living artists in the world today. I wrote about the literary influences in her work for this Irish Times article.
‘Corners of Dublin are being gentrified all the time. I’m not impressed’: I had the privilege of interviewing Irish folk musician Lisa O’Neill about her latest album, Heard a Long Gone Song.