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A charming societal snapshot

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AUTHOR Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell

Mayo features prominently in Marie Louise O’Donnell’s debut book, ‘Irish Working Lives’

Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell – educator, broadcaster, actress and now author – has drawn from the well of her popular radio essays to produce ‘Irish Working Lives’, which celebrates the contribution of ‘those whose vocations and careers are the bedrock of a thriving society’. O’Donnell’s words are accompanied by stunning images by award-winning photographer Eric Luke.
While those profiled are from all over the country, Mayo connections abound. O’Donnell hails from Foxford, and one of those featured prominently in the book is fly fisherman Kieran Connolly from nearby Pontoon. The book itself was crafted and written during a summer sojourn in Achill.
‘Irish Working Lives’ was launched in Bewley’s on Grafton St, Dublin, earlier this month by Pat Kenny and Seán O’Rourke, who noted how well Marie Louise O’ Donnell’s radio essays have translated and transitioned into book form. The inspiring and engaging encounters with different personalities are told by Marie Louise O’ Donnell in her distinctive and inimitable style as she gains a unique insight into each person’s particular occupation – and learns what inspires or motivates them in their chosen field.
‘Irish Working Lives’ is the story of these encounters – by turns candid and lyrical – illuminating the ways in which these individuals perceive their occupation, its day-to-day demands and the inextricable relationship between work life and spiritual life.
Whether spending a day on the road with a postman in Co Wicklow or meeting the Galway gardener who has used her own experience of personal tragedy to help others heal, O’Donnell’s assiduity and innate curiosity enlivens each and every encounter.