This is the story of a man whose lifelong concern has been to create space in his life for learning. Andy O’Mahony was among the first faces on Irish television in the early 1960s, both as a news anchor and as host of The Course of Irish History. He quit his job with RTE in 1972 to do resaearch at Trinity College Dublin and later at Harvard. Thereafter, he hosted The Sunday Show, the first of what became a wave of weekend current affairs programmes on Irish radio. In the 1980s, he made numerous programmes for BBC, including a number of television arts documentaries for BBC2.
Andy has been particularly associated with book-based programmes on radio such as Books and Company, Off the Shelf and Dialogue. Books have been a lifelong passion. He began building his own personal library in his teenage years and recently donated the collection to the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick.
When he began to write his autobiography, two things struck him: how apolitical he had been until his mid-thirties; and how long it had taken him to think for himself. Most people move to the right as they age; this author finds himself drifting leftward, not in any notably activist sense but in how he understands the world. He feels happier as he gets older because of realising early on that it is more rewarding to expand awareness than to own things. Even books.
“Andy O'Mahony is that rarest of phenomena, a journalist who considers culture fully as significant a topic as politics – which doesn't mean he is not as shrewd as they come on the political life of this country over the past half century or so. Creating Space is an elegant and entertaining memoir.” – John Banville
“Andy O'Mahony's book is a kaleidoscopic illustration of the ways in which a presenter's personality and interests can intersect with content and audience to generate the creative tension at the heart of great broadcasting. We are lucky to have him.” – John Horgan
“Andy O’Mahony is one of a distinguished generation of Irish broadcasters, and certainly one of the more intellectual among them. In fact, he is as much an academic as a journalist. His autobiographical memoir … documents his own slow but sure intellectual development, and his gradual evolution to the left rather than the rightward drift that is commonly ascribed to growing older.” – Tom Garvin
“It is the author’s individual journey through meaning as well as memory that lifts this book up and makes it both moving and compelling.” – Eavan Boland
“This brilliantly written, thought-provoking memoir is a reminder of the transformative power of ideas and great books – just like this one.” – Joe Duffy .
- Additional Information
Author O'Mahony, Andy Editor No Print Format Paperback ISBN-10 No ISBN-13 978-1-908308-93-1 Illustrations 16 pages colour photos Date of Publication October 17, 2016 Number of Pages 372