Riegel, Ralph & John O’Mahony

Ralph Riegel works in the Southern Correspondent with Independent Newspapers, covering the region for The Irish Independent, The Southern Independent and The Evening Herald. He has reported on stories from the US to Australia and from Africa to the Far East. A graduate of DIT-Rathmines, he is a regular contributor to TV and radio including RTE, the BBC, Channel 4, TV3, NewsTalk and C103FM. His work has also appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The (London) Independent and The Belfast Telegraph. He is the author of five books, four of which were best-sellers. Two are currently the focus of upcoming TV programmes. The fifth, Three Kings, was long-listed for the 2008 William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year award. He lives in Fermoy, Co Cork with his wife, Mary, and their three children. His interests include history, travel, Gaelic games, supporting Manchester United and religiously attending Bruce Springsteen concerts.

John O'Mahony was born in Kilmore near Tallow, Co Waterford in 1942. His parents John & Margaret ran a small dairy farm. John went to school locally in the Christian Brothers in Lismore. On finishing school he worked on a local farm for over two years before enlisting in the regular army from 1960 to 1962 during which time he served in the Congo with the Armoured Car Group of the 35th battalion from June to December 1961. After a short period spent working in London he returned home for good in 1963 to take up farming. John married Sheila Healy from Milleens, Coolea near Macroom in 1970. They have two sons Brian & Desmond. John changed the farm from dairy to tillage growing grain and sugar beet. He served in various capacities in the Irish Farmers Association for 30 years including 4 years 1994 to 1998 as chairman of the IFA national grain committee during which time he represented Irish grain growers' interests in Brussels helping to develop European cereals policy. John continues to farm in Kilmore. He is currently vice chairman and development officer with Post 25 Irish United Nations Veterans Association in Fermoy, he is vice chairman of Tallow school board and helps out with various parish activities.