New Island Books - 25 Years a-Growing

Diarmuid Ó Conghaile

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Diarmuid Ó Conghaile grew up in Raheny and Malahide, where he now lives with his wife and their two children. As a boy, he threw stones at trains, played football, and swam in the sea. His teenage years were subdued firstly, later explorative. He was a long-time student, ending up with a masters degree in economics from Trinity College Dublin and a postgraduate qualification in law from King’s College London. He also studied for a year on a German-government scholarship in the Freie Üniversität in Berlin, where he almost wrote a thesis on Kafka and met his wife, then living in the very house where Kafka visited Felice Bauer.

Diarmuid has worked as an economist for the European Commission, the Irish government and commercial state-owned companies. He has spoken internationally on public-policy economics and undertaken consultancy work, for example in Colombia. He has also served as a non-executive director of a (successful) financial services company.

In his twenties, Diarmuid became interested in meditation and eastern philosophy, and visited teachers in different parts of India. One particularly moving journey was from Bombay to the Ramana Ashram at the holy mountain of Arunachala near Tiruvannamalai, travelling second class sleeper on a beaten-up train with a pretty Australian girl who was a recovering heroin addict and a young German boy who planned to make his fortune on a pyramid scheme.

Diarmuid has been writing since his teens. Being Alexander is his début novel.