AI was born in Dublin in 1969. I received a BA History from UCD. Over the following eight years, I worked for Waterstones in Dublin and London. I left the bookselling trade to undertake a Post Graduate Diploma in Community and Youth Work in Maynooth University. I have worked with various charities over the last twenty years including Women’s Aid, Youth Work Ireland and the Dyslexia Association of Ireland.
I began writing in 2013, and in 2015 undertook an MA in Creative Writing in UCD studying under James Ryan, Éilis Ní Dhuibhne, Frank McGuinness, Lia Mills, Paul Perry and Anne Enright.
I have been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award with my short story ‘Grace’, the Sunday Business Post Short Story Award for ‘Some Tiny Clue’ and the Benedict Kiely Competition with ‘Mr. Henry’. My short stories have also been published in The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Crannóg, The Lonely Crowd, Ogham Stone, The Incubator, The Weekend Read For Books’ Sake, and Bunker, a collection of short stories published by Cork County Libraries. In 2017, I received the John McGahern Award for Literature from Roscommon County Council in recognition of my short story work and in support of my endeavours to complete my first book.
My debut novel ‘When All Is Said’ was published in 2019 and received the Newcomer of the Year Award at the Irish Book Awards. It is translated into twenty foreign languages. My second novel, Listening Still, published in April 2021 and is available in the UK and Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and will be published in the US and Canada in March 2022.
I am grateful for the arts grants I have received from Westmeath County Council in 2017 and the bursary in literature from the Arts Council of Ireland in 2020.