How do our memories affect how we live our lives? Writer Séamas O'Reilly's 'Remembering Ireland' project satirised our national obsession with historical memory, and the layers of distortion behind the question 'Do you remember this?’. As he became a father for the first time, Séamas explored his own memories in his memoir 'Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?', reflecting on how his own father had raised 11 children after losing the love of his life. The memoir also considers place and identity, exploring the troubled Derry of Séamas’s childhood, shedding light on a place often shrouded in stereotyped darkness. On this episode Christopher Kissane speaks to Séamas about what happens when memory and reality intersect, the significance of place, culture and identity, and the impact of Brexit in Northern Ireland.
Séamas O’Reilly is a journalist from Derry who mainly writes about culture, politics and parenting. As well as weekly columns for The Observer, Tatler and The Irish Times, he's written for The New York Times, Guardian, BBC Radio 4, VICE and New Statesman. In 2021 he released his first book, a childhood memoir entitled Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?, which topped the Irish bestseller's list for seven weeks. Séamas lives in Hackney with his wife, toddler, and numerous TV subscription services.