About me

I've been a professional writer all my working life. My commissions include books; original tv dramas and contributions to series; radio soap opera, features, documentaries and plays; screenplays; chamber opera libretti; and interactive multimedia product.

I was born in Dublin, Ireland, studied English and Irish language and literature at university, and emigrated to London in my early twenties. I built a successful career there, first as an actress and then as a writer, and in 1986 met and married the English opera director Wilf Judd, then Artistic Director of The Garden Venture at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House.

In 1995 we set up JHM, an umbrella under which creative work work arising out of our shared artistic values is conceived and made. A JHM project involves work by one or both of us working in partnership, often in collaboration with other creative artists.

Wilf and I share a love of literature, theatre, ecology and design, and our life and work are now divided between a flat in inner city London and a stone house at the western end of Ireland’s Dingle peninsula.

As a writer, I believe in collective bargaining, not just as a means of protecting copyright and ensuring decent terms and conditions for writers’ work, but as a demonstration of the central position of the writer in a free society. My work as a trade unionist has included service as vice-chair of the UK Writers’ Guild; as a non-executive director and as vice-chair of ALCS (UK’s Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society); and as a non-executive director of CLA (UK’s Copyright Licensing Agency).

I’ve also served on negotiating teams for BBC radio and television MTAs (Minimum Terms Agreements); the establishment of the BBC Forum ; the Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television ( PACT) agreement; BBC Worldwide collective licensing (PRIME); the bilateral agreement between the Publishers’ Licensing Society and ALCS; and as chair and facilitator of the 2003 BBC 7 licence review.

My memoir The House on an Irish Hillside was published by Hodder & Stoughton UK and Hachette Irl in 2012. Its unabridged audiobook, read by myself and with music by Wilf, was published by Crimson Cats Audiobooks in Spring 2014.

I have had two non-fiction titles published in 2015 by The Collins Press.The first, Enough Is Plenty - The Year On The Dingle Peninsula, is a JHM project with Wilf Judd. The second, A Woven Silence: Memory, History & Remembrance centers on my own family's complex loyalties and involvements at the time of Ireland's 1916 Rising, and explores the consequences for individuals, communities and nations when memories are manipulated or obliterated, intentionally or by chance.

Currently I'm writing the first of two novels commissioned by Hachette Irl for publication in 2016 and 2017.

In August this year I became a founding member of The Womens' Equality Party, UK.

 Representation Sheil Land Associates UK 

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