Anna Carey

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Billie Barry: told her young charges to watch and learn from other performers. Photograph: Collins Photos

The legacy of Billie Barry, who has died aged 87, will be measured finally not by the number of “ big name” stars her eponymous stage school turned ou(...)

Billie Barry sprinkled some showbiz glitter into the lives of generations of children, and you can never quite brush that off.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Thirty-three years ago, in an unglamorous hall in the north Dublin suburb of Marino, I had my first close encounter with showbiz. I was six years old (...)

Léan, almost four years old, with her grandmother Eilís Dillon (right) and her aunt Máire, in 1978

This week I’m remembering my grandmother Eilís Dillon, who died 20 years ago, on July 19th. An author of novels, plays and essays, she is best know(...)

In 2007 my friend Paul Clancy connected with me on Facebook. In the “how we know each other” section he wrote: “Shared a rich fantasy life for many(...)

Spring Wools, Ballymount Road, Walkinstown, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Socks aren’t the most obvious stress reliever. There’s nothing obviously soothing or cheering about them. They’re just socks. But whenever I find myse(...)

Until the advent of the radio and the record player, if you wanted to listen to music in your own home, you had to make it yourself. For centuries, si(...)

The summer before I started college, I lost my heart to a Western. As I waited nervously for my Leaving Cert results, I distracted myself with (...)

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