Mary Shine Thompson was formerly a lecturer in English at St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Dublin City University, and edited Michael Kirby’s posthumously published book, Skelligs Sunset. She was awarded a doctorate in Anglo-Irish Literature and has been on the editorial boards of several academic journals. She has edited the plays of Austin Clarke (published by Colin Smythe), an edition of the Seamus Heaney Lectures and numerous collections of academic writings. She has chaired several national bodies, including Poetry Ireland, Imram, and Encountering the Arts Ireland.
Robert O’Byrne is a trustee of the Apollo Foundation and the Artists’ Collecting Society. He is author of more than a dozen books, including Hugh Lane 1875-1915 (2018) and The Last Knight: A Tribute to Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin (2013). He writes an award-winning blog, The Irish Aesthete.
Gerald Dawe is an Irish poet and Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College Dublin. Recent books of poetry include Mickey Finn’s Air (2014), The Last Peacock (2019) and a collection of essays, The Wrong Country (2018). He edited the ground-breaking anthology, Earth Voices Whispering: Irish war poetry 1914–45 (2008).
Eoin O’Brien is an acknowledged authority on cardiovascular medicine. He has also published widely on Irish writing and medical history including his innovative study of Samuel Beckett, The Beckett Country (1986), and The Weight of Compassion & Other Essays (2012).
Michael W. Higgins is a Canadian academic and theologian. He is vice president for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He is recognised as a notable alumnus of St. Michael’s College School and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Sacred Heart University in 2008.
JONATHAN SHACKLETON, Antarctic specialist and cousin of the explorer, is a leading expert on the life and achievements of Ernest Shackleton. JOHN MACKENNA, award-winning short-story writer, novelist, biographer and broadcaster, is author of The Fallen and other stories, Clare, A Year of Our Lives, The Last Fine Summer, The Occasional Optimist, The Lost Village and A Haunted Heart.