Playwright and screenwriter, pictured with her nana, Eileen
It has been a crazy year. At the start of the year, I had absolutely no idea whether [the TV drama] would or wouldn’t be happening. There were four of the episodes written, and then, in January, we got the green light, and two more had to be written. We started shooting in March, and then the show aired in September, and I’ve been in every publication and television and radio show. The response to the show has been great . . . you know, because you’re really nervous and you’ve seen it, and you’re waiting to present it to the world, like the start of
The Monday night it went out, I turned off my phone. I woke up the next morning and Twitter had gone crazy. I didn’t know if they liked it or hated it still. In the midst of it all, my feature film got commissioned by the Irish Film Board.
The things that remain constant for me have been really important, like visiting my grandmother, being in my house with my housemates, and keeping as much of normality as possible.
Now, I need to keep working. I don’t want 2016 to be the best year when it’s 2020. I have to keep going.
Home for Christmas has always been my grandmother’s house in Castleknock. That’s always been where I spent my Christmas with my mam, Bernie; my grandfather, Sean; and my nana, Eileen. My grandfather Sean died on Christmas Eve 2011, so it’s kind of a fraught time. I love Christmas, and my mum gets really into it, and Santa is still a thing.
On Christmas morning, I’ ll get up with my mam. Depending on how my nana is feeling — she’s 89 now — she will get up, and we all exchange presents. Then we’ ll have breakfast. I don’t eat sugar, so I don’t do the whole chocolate thing. I don’t even
Can’t Cope Won’t Cope The Lion King.
see that any more, but Christmas is still about real food time for me. Turkey is my favourite meat, so I have been known to go into a food coma after the amount of turkey I have. It’s definitely an indulgent time, in terms of portion size rather than content. My nana is still very much of the prawn cocktail era; she still thinks that’s the utmost in opulence, so we’ ll have that, and then the turkey will be cooked. It’s probably a turkey that’s meant for six people, but there’s only three of us. Then it will go into turkey vol-au-vents and turkey sandwiches.
This year, I am going to visit some friends in the States in the week after Christmas. My grandfather was buried on St Stephen’s Day, and we used to have a Mass around then to remember him, but my nana decided this year that we would push it out until January, so I’m going to take a holiday for the first time in a while.
I love Christmas, but I do struggle with everything being closed and not have anything to do. I want to be working. I want to be sending out emails and getting my deadlines in. We have a new baby in the family this year, so that brings the magic back a bit, and there is a resurgence in all that Christmas was and can be.