When the pandemic hit, it had a profound effect on me. I had stepped back from my career to look after my parents and, at a time when Mum needed professional care which left me with some free time to reconsider that career, Covid hit. I was bowled over in the first wave that reached Europe, landing flat on my back for about two weeks in February 2020 and coming out of it with neither the ability to smell nor taste and a ‘long Covid’ that had me in a brain fog with little energy to do much.
When I finally recovered enough to think and walk straight, we were in a series of lockdowns. I had secured funding to make the ‘Romancing Ireland’ TV series just ahead of the pandemic, so we were shooting that where and when we could, as restrictions and the justified anxiety of our interviewees allowed. Like many people, I had plenty of time to think and, also like many people, I realised that a lot of what I had considered important to me wasn’t, and a lot of what I hadn’t given much value to was significantly more worthwhile. The phrase ‘life-changing’ is, I think, overused. But the passing of my Dad, the journey of caring for my Mum – during which I did a degree at Trinity – and the traumatic events of Covid proved to be just that for me – life-changing. The global nature of the pandemic brought home, to me, the fragility of life and the conviction that we are one human family with more in common than not. What the average person is concerned about is providing themselves and their loved ones with shelter, food, a life worth living and a world worth living in. I was no different. As vaccine’s rolled out and the world began to emerge from shelter, I realised that I didn’t want to spend my time doing anything that I didn’t believe was worthwhile.
There are four areas that I am now focussed on – climate action, to help ensure that there is a world for our children and grandchildren to inherit, social inclusion, because we are one human family, regardless of nationality, colour, religion, ability, gender, how we choose to identify or who we find ourselves loving, media literacy, because fast-news has left us exposed to convincing lies without, for some people, the information of how to fact-check and, lastly, family and friends. Much of my life has been spent taking family and friends for granted. With my partner Sophia, we’re dedicated to making sure that we make time to keep those connections healthy.
This website is my online creative space, where you can keep up with my film, TV and other projects, but these projects all stand on the four pillars that I’ve mentioned. That’s my focus and, if you are of like mind, I hope you’ll follow along here on whatever social media platform you frequent.