Centenary of Hollywood’s Greatest Murder Mystery

In the last couple of weeks, I got a very encouraging reaction to my work on William Desmond Taylor. The Irishman, who became a major film director and whose murder shook Hollywood, has been a recurring subject of my writing for several years now. The centenary of his death on February first prompted Newstalk FM to re-air, Who Killed Bill?, the PPI award-nominated docu-drama that I wrote and directed.

The channel gave the show a decent push as they broadcast it the two weekends bookending the centenary and posted it as a podcast here: https://www.newstalk.com/docudrama

Directing Actors during the recording of ‘Who Killed Bill?’

It’s satisfying to have older work given a new lease of life but better still to have a new commission. So I was chuffed when RTE Culture reached out with a request to write an article on the Carlow man who came a cropper in California. I’ve written several times for the Irish national broadcaster, and their site has a substantial readership. For this piece, I visited Taylor’s resting place in Hollywood Forever cemetery and the site of his murder, the currently uninspiring location of a Ross – Dress for Less parking lot.

You can read it here:


On the site of Taylor’s Murder 100 years later

There is yet another exciting Taylor-inspired project in the offing, the details of which I shall post here shortly but in the meantime you can find tons of great WDT info here:


“Last Thoughts” re-broadcast.

Today at 6pm RTÉ lyric fm re-aired my show, “Last Thoughts’, the New York Festivals Award-winning programme about the life and work of Irish composer John Field. A show that was most enjoyable to produce.

“LAST THOUGHTS is a docudrama that I wrote and directed on the life and work of Irish 19th-century composer John Field, the finest pianist of his time, founder of the Russian school of piano playing, and the putative ‘Father of the Nocturne’. Featuring contributions by Una Hunt, Deborah Kelleher, Majella Boland, Turtle Bunbury, Conor Byrne, David Mooney, and Ludmilla Podlesnykh. Produced by Cleverality Productions for RTE Lyric FM. Funded by the Broadcast Authority of Ireland.

Here is some behind-the-scenes footage of the recording of the dramatization at Burbank Studios, Los Angeles, California. It features engineer Brian Wallace, actors Richard Shelton, Alan Smyth, Anthony Skordi, and me doing some directing. The John Field composition is played by David Mooney.

“Bones of Contention” Gets Another Airing

Delighted that the show I wrote and directed gets another airing this week on Lyric FM.

BONES OF CONTENTION, the radio docudrama on the life and work of Irish writer Brian O’Nolan (aka Flann O’Brien or Myles Na gCopaleen) as told by his various writing avatars is described by The Irish Times as ‘an enjoyably inventive docudrama’ using ‘sharp humour,’ a ‘vivid reimagining,’ and ‘an absorbing portrait.’

It was a wonderful experience interviewing novelists like Julian Gough and Pat McCabe; comedians, BlindBoy Boatclub, Ardal O’Hanlon, Tommy Tiernan, and David McSavage; actor Eamon Morrissey, literary experts Dr. Keith Hopper and Dr. Carol Taaffe, poet Louis De Paor and dramaturge Jocelyn Clarke.

And perhaps, even more fun was directing fantastic acting talents of Jack Lowe, Kevin Marron, and Rachel Rath. Here is some of the behind-the-scenes footage of the production as recorded by sound engineer, Brian Wallace, in his studio at Burbank, California