Born in Dublin’s south inner city, Marie Duffy first found fame in the 1960s, dancing on entertainment shows on the newly launched Teilifís Éireann. She went on to become one of Ireland’s foremost dancing teachers – at Inis Ealga and her own Marie Duffy Irish Dance School – mentoring world champions and some of the performers from the original Riverdance line.
Marie has collaborated with Michael Flatley for twenty years, on his shows Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, Celtic Tiger and Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, amongst others. She choreographed performances for the Oscars and The Prince’s Trust, and for TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars and Britain’s Got Talent. She has served on The Irish Dancing Commission (An Coimisiún) since 1969, and has worked as an examiner all over the world.
In 2011 at the World Irish Dancing Championships, Marie was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her dedication to Irish dance and culture.
Eamonn Duggan is a native of Wexford town, and a retired teacher and Head of History at Avondale Community College, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow and holds a Master’s Degree in Modern History. He has been historian in residence for Ireland’s Own Magazine for the past number of years contributing many weekly historical articles to the much loved and popular publication. He is also the main contributor to the highly successful Ireland’s Own Centenary Annual since 2016.
Bernard Dunne was born and raised in Neilstown, west Dublin, the place he still calls home. The son of Olympic boxer Brendan Dunne, he competed in his first boxing match at six years old, and spent the next twenty-three years training and perfecting his craft. Narrowly missing out on qualifying for the 2000 Olympics, Bernard went on to a hugely successful professional career, with twenty-eight wins from thirty fights. He finally beat Ricardo Cordoba in a dramatic eleventh-round knockout at the Point Depot in Dublin in 2009 to become super-bantamweight World Champion. Since retiring from boxing, Bernard has written two books and several television series, worked with the Dublin Gaelic football team and as a sports analyst on RTÉ television, and become the High-Performance Director of Irish Boxing. Bernard lives in Dublin with his wife Pamela and their two children, Caoimhe and Finnian.
Des Ekin is a retired journalist and the author of four books. Born in County Down, Northern Ireland, he began his career as a reporter. After spending several years covering the Ulster Troubles, he rose to become Deputy Editor of the Belfast Sunday News before moving to his current home in Dublin. He worked as a journalist, columnist, Assistant Editor and finally Political Correspondent for The Sunday World until 2012. His book The Stolen Village (2006) was shortlisted for the Argosy Irish Nonfiction Book of the Year and for Book of the Decade in the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2010. He is married with a son and two daughters.
Glyn Evans is a microbiologist with a passion for animal welfare and environmental conservation. Together with his partner and two sons, he lives on a farm in County Meath. It’s important to him that his sons grow up with animals around them and can learn about protecting nature. Wanting to share their love of animals with other children and adults, the family opened their farm to the public. Through providing animal therapy, and educating visitors on the small things we can all do to help our environment, they hoped to reduce animal cruelty. While the farm is no longer open to the public, Glyn continues to reach out to both children and adults and help them to understand the importance of animals and the environment. Find out more at his Facebook page, ‘Trim Alpacas’.