Donegal-born award-winning broadcaster, writer and historian, Aidan O'Hara, has worked as a presenter and producer with RTÉ (Raidió Telefís Éireann – Irish National Broadcasting) and CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). He is a graduate of St Mary's College (now Marino Institute of Education), and pursued post-graduate studies at University of Ottawa and Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. He has taught Communications and Media Studies in Dublin, Ireland: Communications Centre, Booterstown, the Tallaght Institute of Technology, and Dublin City University. Through his company, Ashton Media Services, he taught Communication skills to school leavers, business executives, politicians, medical professionals and church leaders.
Today, Aidan is engaged in writing full-time, and gives presentations to history and community groups throughout Ireland and abroad. He stays in touch with broadcasting through contributions to Ireland's national broadcaster RTÉ (Radio Teilefís Éireann).
He presented three acclaimed Radharc Films documentaries on the Irish of Newfoundland on RTE 1 in the 1980s – one of them the award-winning, The Forgotten Irish – and he has been a contributor and consultant in several TV series. His “The Irish in Newfoundland” was published in The Emigrant Experience (with Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Michael D. Higgins, et al), Journal of the Galway Labour History Group, 1991. His biography of Delia Murphy, I’ll live 'til I die - the story of Delia Murphy, was published in 1997 and was the featured book on RTÉ’s Book on One in May 2005. Aidan’s story of the Irish in Newfoundland, Na Gaeil i dTalamh an Éisc, was published in 1998. It won the Oireachtas '97 literary award for a work in prose, and was nominated for The Irish Times Literature Prize in 1999 for a work in the Irish language.
Aidan has recently finished a book on the Irish in the era of the American Civil War 1861-65, and his chapter, ‘Judge Charles Patrick Daly (1816-99)’ is due for publication in the next year in Irish Presences, American Wars (Irish Academic Press), editors Dr. David Noel Doyle and Dr. Arthur Mitchell, and his essay ‘Emigration from County Longford’ was published in Longford – History and Society (Geography Publications, December 2010).
His salute to his friend, Con Howard was published in Memories of Con Howard, February 2012 by Hot Press Books, with contributions also from – among others – Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, Sean Donlon, John Banville and Ulick O’Connor. He writes regularly for several journals and magazines as a book reviewer and writer on historical subjects. Also in 2012, he contributed two items of reminiscences to Ireland: The Dawning of the Day (Active IT Society, Dublin). His latest publication, Atlantic Gaels – Donegal Links with the Hebrides, was published by The Islands Book Trust, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, in May 2013.
Aidan is a keen historian with a special interest in the Irish emigration experience and is an active member of the Co. Longford Historical Society; he contributes regularly to the society’s journal, Teabhtha. He writes regularly for Irish Music Magazine and contributes articles on historic matters to journals and newspapers around the country. He is also a member of the Knocklyon History Society (Dublin), Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha (The Armagh Diocesan Historical Society), and the Co. Donegal Historical Society. Aidan is Chairman of the Emmet and Devlin Committee and was a founding member of the Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland.