County Donegal-born award-winning writer and broadcaster, Aidan O’Hara, has worked as a presenter and producer with RTÉ (Raidió Telefís Éireann – Irish National Broadcasting) and CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). He is a graduate of St Mary’s College (now Marino Institute of Education, Dublin, Ireland), and pursued post-graduate studies at University of Ottawa and Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. He has taught Media Studies and Communications at the Communications Centre, Booterstown, Dublin City University, and the Tallaght Institute of Technology. Through his company, Ashton Media Services, he has taught communication skills to school leavers, and people in the professions, business, politics and church leaders, as well. Today, Aidan is engaged in writing full-time, and gives presentations to history and community groups throughout Ireland and abroad. He stays in touch with broadcasting through his occasional contributions to Raidió Teilefís Éireann, TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta.
He presented three acclaimed Radharc Film documentaries on the Irish of Newfoundland on RTE 1 in the 1980s – one of them the award-winning, The Forgotten Irish – and he has been a contributor and consultant in several TV series. His “The Irish in Newfoundland” was published in The Emigrant Experience – with Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Michael D. Higgins, et al – Journal of the Galway Labour History Group, 1991. His biography of the famous singer, Delia Murphy (1902-71), I’ll live ’til I die – the story of Delia Murphy, was published in 1997 and was the featured book on RTÉ’s Book on One in May 2005. Aidan’s story of the Irish in Newfoundland, Na Gaeil i dTalamh an Éisc, was published in 1998. It won the Oireachtas ’97 literary award for a work in prose, and was nominated for The Irish Times Literature Prize in 1999.
Aidan’s essay, ‘Emigration from County Longford’ was published in Longford – History and Society (Geography Publications, December 2010). His Atlantic Gaels –Links Between Donegal and the Hebrides, was published by The Islands Book Trust, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, June 2013. He has written several articles on the Irish in the era of the American Civil War 1861-65, and his essay on Judge Charles Patrick Daly (1816-99) was published in April 2017 in Fighting Irish in the American Civil War and the Invasion of Mexico (McFarland’s in the United States, editors, Dr. David Noel Doyle and Dr. Arthur Mitchell.) He has just completed a first draft of a major book on the Irish in the era of the American Civil War
His salute to his friend, Con Howard was published in Memories of Con Howard, February 2012 by Hot Press Books, with contributions also from – among others – Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, Sean Donlon, John Banville and Ulick O’Connor. He writes regularly for several journals and magazines as a book reviewer and writer on historical subjects. Also in 2012 he contributed two items of reminiscences to Ireland: The Dawning of the Day (Active IT Society, Dublin). He contributed to An Irishmans’ Diary in the Irish Times a number of times, the latest on 7 November 2017 on Mary Maguire Colum.
Aidan is a keen historian with a special interest in the Irish emigration experience. He is an active member of the Co. Longford Historical Society and the Co. Donegal Historical Society and writes for the journals of both societies. He has written for Irish Music Magazine for over 20 years, and contributes articles on history subjects to journals and newspapers around the country. He is also a member of the Knocklyon History Society (Dublin), and the Co. Donegal Historical Society. Aidan is Chairman of the Emmet and Devlin Committee, and co-founder of the Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland. He is Chair of Cumann Ceoil Chonmhaicne, established August 2016 to give the public access to the historical manuscripts, field recordings and commercial recordings of Longford and Leitrim musicians. He is a founding member of the Colum Gathering – Cruinniú Colum, that was held in Longford, 8-9 September 2017, and which will be an annual event, celebrating the life and work of Padraic Colum.