Sue Redican was born in Cwmbran, South Wales, and studied art in Goldsmiths College, London before moving to Dún Chaoin in 1981. From her first day trip to the Great Blasket Island the peace and tranquility there have made a profound impression on her. She has developed a keen interest in all aspects of island life. She happily spends 6 months of the year,from April through October, living in the island and this has given her a great understanding of the hardship the islanders endured in the centuries in which it was inhabited. As a wildlife enthusiast she appreciates the richness of the flora and fauna and keeps careful notes of everything she observes.
The simplicity of the Island provides the perfect setting for her weaving, spinning and plant-dyeing craft.
Tomi Reichental was born in 1935 in Slovakia. He was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944. Tomi has lived in Dublin since 1959 and regularly talks to Irish schools about his wartime experiences.
A documentary about Tomi's attempts to meet one of his jailers, Close to Evil, has been shown on TV and in cinemas throughout the world, and helped again to raise the profile of the Holocaust.
Dubliner Barry Reynolds is a character designer/concept/visual development artist and illustrator who has worked on the Oscar-nominated, animated movie The Secret of Kells, on Aardman and Sony Pictures Animation’s Arthur Christmas, and on Irish language graphic novels, An Táin and Deirdre agus Mic Uisnigh, where his artwork helped these Irish legends to a new readership. As a child, Barry saw The Jungle Book and announced then that he intended to be an artist, and he has realised that dream, apart from a few brief flirtations with wanting to be an astronaut, a dinosaur hunter and a zoologist … the last of which came in handy when working on The Great Big Book of Irish Wildlife.
Neil Richardson studied Philosophy in University College, Dublin, before writing his first book, A Coward If I Return, A Hero If I Fall: Stories of Irishmen in World War I, which won the Argosy Irish Non-Fiction Book of the Year award at the 2010 Irish Book Awards. This was followed by Dark Times, Decent Men: Stories of Irishmen in World War II in 2012, and According to Their Lights: Stories of Irishmen in the British Army, Easter 1916 in 2015. A member of the Reserve Defence Forces, Neil has also written and produced plays with a Great War theme and has made several national television and radio appearances, including as consultant historian on RTÉ television’s centenary programme ‘My Great War’. He recently completed an MA in Military History and Strategic Studies (Maynooth University) and is currently studying for a PhD in History.
Ralph Riegel lives in Cork. He has worked as a journalist for several newspapers including The Cork Examiner, The Evening Echo, The Evening Herald and The Sunday Independent and is the southern correspondent for The Irish Independent. He is also a regular contributor to RTE, BBC and TV3 and to British newspapers including the (London) Independent and The Daily Telegraph.