1948- ; b. Templetuohy, nr. Tullamore, Co. Tipperary; son of hoteliers; moved to country when his father remarried after death of his mother when he was eight; published poems in New Irish Writing (Irish Press), during 1980s; works as civil servant; studied fiction-writing with McGahern; issued highly-acclaimed Clocking Ninety on the Road to Cloughjordan and Other Stories (1994), serialised for RTÉ radio; also Lets Twist Again (2001) resumes where the stories in Clocking left off viz., young Lally Connaughton is now ten, his father having remarried when he was eight.
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Clocking Ninety on the Road to Cloghjordan & Other Stories (Belfast: Blackstaff 1994; Blackstaff: Beeline 2002) [17 stories]; Lets Twist Again (Belfast: Blackstaff Beeline 2001), 390pp.
Sam Thompson, reviewing Lets Twist Again (Blackstaff), in Times Literary Supplement, 25 Jan. 2002, quotes the opening sentence, spoken by narrator Lally Connaughton: When I was eight and a half and a great judge of people out around the wide world of our street my father went away and did something. I did not know what it was. His father has re-married. (p.24.)
George OBrien, review of Lets Twist Again (Belfast: Blackstaff Press), by no means deficient in a spirit of place, Lets Twist Again is much more concerned with the rather more elusive spirit of home; 1950s rural Irish childhood - day out at the big match, puppy love, obnoxious teachers; in the account of his coping, exploring, questioning and negotiating the new adult terrain, Leo Cullen has created the most memorable fictional child since at least Paddy Clarke [Roddy Doyle] (Irish Times, 27 Oct. 2001, Weekend, Books, with extract on p.13.)
Shirley Kelly, interview, in Books Ireland (Oct. 2001), p.247 [biog. as supra]
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