Muiris Mac Conghail

Muiris Mac Conghail (12 May 1941 – 25 November 2019)[1] was an Irish journalist, writer, broadcaster, poet and film-maker.

Early life

Mac Conghail was born in Dublin, son of artists Maurice MacGonigal and Aida Kelly. His father, a cousin of Harry Clarke, had been a republican activist during the Irish War of Independence before studying, and then teaching, at the RHA schools.[2]

Mac Conghail was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, The Kings' Inns and the University of Edinburgh.


He joined Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) in the 1960s, one of a group of young broadcasters which included Andreas Ó Gallchóir,[3] Breandán Ó hEithir, James Plunkett Kelly, Donal Farmer and Seán Mac Réamoinn. He became producer and editor of the current affairs programme 7 Days, which started broadcasting in 1966.[4] He won a Jacob's Television Award in 1967 and 1985.[5]

In May 1973, he was appointed Assistant Secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach and Head of the Government Information Bureau.[6]

He was RTÉ Controller of Programmes, television, 1977–1980 and 1983–1986.

In 2001 he delivered the Thomas Davis Lecture to mark the 75th anniversary of Radio Éireann -'Politics by Wireless'.[7]

Personal life

Mac Conghail married Máire Doran and they have five children, including Fiach,former Director of the Abbey Theatre, and Cuan, TV editor and film-maker,[8] Somhairle Mac Conghail, Marcus Mac Conghail and Etáin Mac Conghail. They separated in the 1990s, and divorced in 2007.

Mac Conghail married Mary Malone in 2008: they had lived together for the previous 15 years.

Select writings

  • Aghaidheanna Fidil Agus Puicini (Biography of George Thompson)
  • Island Funeral (1965)
  • The Blaskets: A Kerry Island Library (1987) ISBN 0-946172-12-9
  • The Blaskets — People and Literature
  • Politics by Wireless: News and Current Affairs on Radio, 1926–2000 (2001)
  • Essay on David Thornley in Unquiet Spirit: Essays in memory of David Thornley. Edited by Yseult Thornley (Liberties Press)


  2. Irish Art 1900-1950, Rosc, 1975.
  3. Gaeilgeoir whose media career spanned four eventful decades Irish Times, 2011-07-23.
  4. Horgan, John. Broadcasting and Public Life: RTÉ News and Current Affairs 1926–1997. Four Courts Press (2004). ISBN 1-85182-839-7
  5. Jacobs awards
  6. Dáil debates
  7. RTÉ Press Release Archived 2009-09-09 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Family
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