Photo by Helen Kirwan

PAUL O’REILLY lives with his wife and children in Co. Wexford, Ireland.

To contact, direct message: twitter.com/paulinwexford.

Longlisted for the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the 2016 Edge Hill Short Story Prize, Paul’s debut short story collection The Girl Missing from the Window was published to critical acclaim by Doire Press. RTÉ Ten said, “this striking collection is often topical, yet it transcends topicality with style and mastery”.

In 2018, Paul was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland English Literature Bursary and in 2019 was awarded a coveted mentorship (with Ferdia Mac Anna) as part of the Words Ireland National Mentoring Programme. His debut novel was a runner-up at Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair 2021.

In 2023, Paul had two plays produced. Rattlesnakes was a one-act written in conjunction with a Creative Acting for Theatre course, utilising improvisation with the actors to help develop characters, and was facilitated by Fintan Kelly. Later that year, Paul’s debut one-man play MASK was professionally produced to acclaim by Enniscorthy Theatre Company. In 2024, Paul wrote and starred in his second Creative Acting for Theatre course play, produced by ETC, entitled Going Home.

In 2020, Paul’s second full-length stage play, Wild in the Country, was premiered by Enniscorthy Drama Group to acclaim with audiences responding with: “A homegrown gem”; “Hilarious!”; “Miss it at your peril”; “A quirky, dark comedy worth catching”; “We had a fantastic time tonight”; “A funny and fabulous new play”; “This is the best play I’ve seen in a long time”.

In 2015, Paul was commissioned by Enniscorthy Drama Group to write a full-length stage play to be performed as part of the Co. Wexford Centenary Celebrations of the Enniscorthy 1916 Rising. Entitled A Night on the Hill, the premiere performances took place May 5th-8th 2016 in the historic Athenaeum Theatre – the HQ of the Rising in 1916 – in Paul’s home town of Enniscorthy. There were also matinee performances for local schools due to the historical significance of the play’s content and setting.

Paul’s drama has been shortlisted at Listowel Writers’ Week, his stories shortlisted for the Hennessy First Fiction Award, the Seán O’Faoláin Prize, the Bristol Prize and twice for the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Prize. His work has been published in the Irish Independent, the Irish TimesThe Stinging Fly, The Scaldy DetailNatural Bridge (US), the Bristol Prize Anthology (UK), Ireland’s Own, online at NecessaryFiction.com (US), Writing.ie, TheJournal.ie and selected for The Lonely Voice series of readings at the Irish Writers’ Centre. In 2012 he was nominated by Natural Bridge (US) for a Pushcart Prize and in 2013 he received an honourable mention from Glimmertrain Press (US).

In 2012, his film script adaptation of the Claire Keegan short story Men and Women won the FilmOffaly/Filmbase Award and the completed film, directed by Ruth Meehan, produced by Ink and Light, was selected for the 2013 Galway Film Fleadh and Irish Film Festival London. In 2014 the film was shown on national TV as part of the RTÉ 2 Shortscreen series. In 2013, he wrote, produced and directed the documentary film Paddy Berry: The Singer, the Song and the Place to wide acclaim, excerpts broadcast on RTÉ. In 2014, he wrote, produced and directed his next documentary, Eamonn Wall: Your Rivers Have Trained You, later selected in the same year for the IndieCork Film Festival and the St Louis International Film Festival. Also in 2014, Paul formed the independent production initiative Lowland Films and has since completed Film and TV screenwriting courses, masterclasses and workshops with Eilish Kent, Mary Kate O’Flanagan, Jimmy McGovern and Screen Training Ireland.

A Fleadh winning Irish traditional singer, songwriter, lilter, and musician, Paul has produced and recorded on several albums, while also appearing on national radio, TV, with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and he was a prominent member of The 1916 Song Project national concert tour. Paul is a registered member of IMRO, the Irish Writers Centre, the Arts Council of Ireland from whom he received a Deis award in 2008 for his album The Poet’s Dream, and was a producer-designer-engineer-partner with the recording, publishing and archival initiative Scallta Media. Paul was a founding member of both the Colm Tóibín Short Story Award and Wexford Literary Festival.

Since 2006 Paul has been core architect with the award-winning software company Structure101. In 2012 their product Restructure101 won the Most Innovative Java Technology Award at the JAX Innovation Awards. Working in the cyber-world for such a flexible and innovative company has been instrumental in the development of his productions and writing.

In the field of sport, Paul enjoys running, has run one marathon so far and dreams of another. He has mentored, managed and coached extensively at nursery, underage and developmental levels in GAA.

In psychotherapy, Paul has studied several modules of the Human Givens approach.

In 2021, Paul became a Fighting Words Volunteer Mentor.