When I graduated from University College
Dublin in 1971, I wanted to go to Africa to work with wildlife, but my
father was a vet and he had other plans, so my longing for wildlife work
had to be postponed for almost thirty years. I spent the next fourteen
years working in general practice in Connemara in the west of Ireland, a
pretty exotic location in its own right - unless you happen to be from
there, in which case it is just totally non-exotic ‘home’. This was a
particularly busy time as the area I covered was huge – in one year I
clocked up 68,000 miles in my battered VW Golf – and I had little time
for writing, other than compiling the weekly cryptic crossword
for the RTE GUIDE, Ireland’s national Radio and TV magazine. But I was
hatching thriller plots in my head – you had to do something during
those marathon drives.
I began my wanderings abroad in 1985 when I took a two-year position in the historically rich Mediterranean island of Malta, working with all the food animals of the island. I ended up staying there for nine years.
A brief stint back in Connemara followed and I left for the Sultanate of Oman in January 1995 to take up a position at the Stud Section of The Royal Stables of Oman, in Salalah, capital of the Dhofar region, down near the border with Yemen. I spent seven and a half magical years there working with the beautiful Arabian horses, a small private zoo and – wildlife at last!! - spending long periods in the timeless Arabian desert, working with the re-introduced White Oryx (different photograph). In my last two years there, I was also the veterinarian responsible for a project for trapping the Arabian Leopard (different photograph), a very rare and - relative to its African cousins – very small, pale leopard; these inhabited remote deep ravines that were only accessible by helicopter. The leopards were being trapped to establish a range of physical and biological parameters and DNA profiles, then released again unharmed, but fitted with tracking collars to enable remote charting of their ranges.
Leaving Oman in 2002, Alex and I returned to Connemara, and the next ten years were devoted to building up a thriving, modern veterinary practice. In 2012, I finally hung up my wellington boots and we came back to Malta to the house we’d bought some twenty years before. Freed of the weighty responsibilities of running a practice, I have been able to resume my second passion, writing thrillers, and the result is my latest book, A Moving Death, a cop thriller set right here in Malta, featuring the steady and even-tempered Inspector Leonard Cassar.
Lucky or What!! My latest book, 'A Moving Death', was scheduled for launch on 17th Nov 2014, and - whaddya know! - this interview miraculously appeared, centrefold, in The Malta Independent on 16th!!!
This site was last updated 11/18/14