About Me

I am a son, a brother, a friend, a husband, a father and most of all I am a pilgrim seeker. 

I am an extrovert, I am shy, I am playful, I can be kind, I get rageful, I get angry, I get pissed off, I get scared, I get excited, I get lonely, I get shit done, I procrastinate. I was…

…born in the West of Ireland and grew up dreaming of playing Ireland’s native game Hurling at the highest level. A hybrid of Lacrosse, Rugby and Quidditch, I worked like crazy on this love affair and obsession until I was brought on to the Clare county team (In Ireland playing for your county in an All-Ireland Final is the pinnacle for most kids that play the sport. Think NBA Finals or Super Bowl and you’ll have a sense of it). 

At times I lacked self-belief and definitely lacked the physical strength to play at the level I dreamed of but made up for it with grit and a hunger to explore how far I could get if I was willing to work harder than anyone else. I gradually rose to the top of the game and played in front of audiences of 80,000 spectators. For four years of my career I commuted from Nova Scotia, Canada where I was attending university to play for Clare. This was a grueling schedule, but as they say ‘a boy in love feels no cold’. In, 2006 I realised a boyhood dream when I was awarded an All-Star. It was bittersweet as my father had died the year before and it was an emotional experience to receive this accolade knowing he would have loved to have been there to see it. I like to believe he was. 

In 2007, I took a hiatus from Hurling to cycle 7,000Kms from coast to coast across Canada and Ireland.  A journey inspired by the passing of my father, it was to change me forever and was captured in the book Screaming at the Sky. This book broke the mould as to the honesty and authenticity of so called ‘sport books’ and dismantled many of the taboos around mental health and male stereotypes in the process. It went on to become a cult classic in Ireland and beyond due to its searing honesty and insight in to the fragility of a high performing athlete. 

In 2011, life took an unexpected turn. Having heard about Jim Stynes the Australian Rules Football icon and his work with teenagers, I co-founded the multi-award winning Soar Foundation. This pioneering emotional and mental health organisation focuses on developing teenagers resilience and character and was an educational game-changer. Soar has gone on to impact the lives of tens of thousands of young people since, while shifting the paradigm in how young people’s emotional health is developed and nurtured. Here is a snapshot in to why Soar exists. 

After 8 years building Soar, I changed paths in 2019. That path is to continue to explore the human experience in all its beauty and power and to write about it here in my blog, in potentially a book and in other ways that feed my curiosity. The dream now is to experience life, to really see what lies within and around us all and to document what I discover along the way. 

If you are coming with me on this journey, buckle up. I intend to play all out.