Sharon Ní Chonchúir

Freelance journalist, features writer, columnist, and copywriter


Twenty years – that’s how long I’ve been working as a freelance writer; creating fresh, informative, and engaging feature articles, opinion pieces, personal columns, and copy for media and commercial clients.

I write in English and Irish about health and wellbeing; food, nutrition, and how we eat now; social and women’s issues; the environment; parenting and relationships; lifestyle; and the Irish language.

I have a particular interest in some of these topics. I used to run my own award-winning café, which gave me an insider’s knowledge of the food sector as well as an abiding interest in all things food.
As a native Irish speaker, I am all too aware of the challenges facing minority languages.

My work has been published in publications such as The Irish Examiner, The Irish Times, The Sunday Times, and Irish America.

I have had a popular bilingual column in the Irish Post newspaper since 2008.

I write advertorial too, tailoring my tone to suit my clients. My work in this sector is as varied as my journalism. I’ve worked with NewsCred, the world’s leading enterprise content marketing company, on campaigns for major brands such as Coca-Cola. I’ve created marketing emails and website copy for travel agencies. And I write all sorts of pieces for my local newspaper, Kerry’s Eye, ranging from company profiles to 20-page pull-out supplements celebrating the best food and drink experiences in the region.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve built up long-term relationships with editors and clients who trust the standard of my work. Whether they commission me to write an article about the damaging effects of diet culture or a blog post chronicling the adventure’s of a tour guide in Japan, they know that I will deliver accurate and entertaining copy to their specific brief and to their set deadline.

Contact me: [email protected]

Irish Examiner
Workplace Wellbeing: Coming back from the brink of burnout

Fiona Buckley was once a corporate high-flier. She spent 16 years in that sector, rising to the position of vice president of professional services for a global tech company. While working in one such role, she began to experience mental and physical health issues.

Irish America
Shannon The Heart of Ireland - Irish America

One of the best places to experience Irish culture, history and stunning natural beauty, is the Shannon region, and it's just a direct flight away from New York and Boston. The song says that it's a long, long way from Clare to here - that's likely to be true for most of you reading this.

Recently published

Irish Examiner
Life with aphasia: 'My language went completely'

Martin Quinn was being interviewed on live radio when suddenly he couldn't answer the questions he was being asked. "I knew what I wanted to say but something prevented me from getting the words out," he says. He had had a stroke. Two more were to follow.

Irish Examiner
Modern families: the paths less travelled to parenthood

What makes a family? Only a generation ago, Irish families mostly consisted of married men and women and their children. Single parents were shunned. Same-sex couples weren't considered candidates for parenthood. And those who struggled to conceive often did so in shame and silence.

Irish Examiner
Is sleep a feminist issue?

It's 6.45am on Monday morning and I can't get out of bed. My alarm went off three-quarters of an hour ago, but my body still isn't ready to get up. It's not because I was late going to bed. I was in bed by 9.30pm and asleep by 10pm.

Comment and opinion pieces

Health and wellness

Irish Examiner
Most couples may need to use IVF by 2050: Are we facing spermageddon?

Infertility rates are rising worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, one in four couples fail to conceive after one year of unprotected sex. In Ireland, one in six couples experiences infertility. For decades, we have pointed the finger at women playing Russian roulette with their biological clocks by delaying starting a family until their careers are established.

Irish Examiner
Mind your head: experts talk about looking after your mental health

HOW well are you coping with lockdown number three? In these dark days of winter, as Covid-19 case numbers remain stubbornly high and the pandemic looks likely to restrict our lives for months to come, it would be no wonder if your mental health was suffering. Many of us are feeling the pressure.

Irish Examiner
Vitamin D: Can the sunshine vitamin help to put Covid in the shade?

What would you do if you realised there was a cheap and widely available vitamin that might have the potential to protect us against becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and help us to fight the virus? This is a question that Dr Daniel McCartney, a lecturer in human nutrition and dietetics at the Technological University of Dublin, asked himself last year.

Irish Examiner
Ecosystem in your gut can tell a lot about how well you will age

What's your gut feeling? Scientists have recently begun to understand that what happens in our gut affects our overall health. A new study even goes so far as to suggest that what happens there can predict how well we will age. Our intestines are ecosystems of their own, consisting of trillions of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

Big squeeze: Why pelvic floor exercises are essential for women

Once a French woman has given birth she is offered free physical sessions to rebuild her pelvic floor. In Ireland, the need to exercise this area is barely addressed, often leading to ongoing issues with bladder control and less pleasure in sex. Sharon Ní Chonchúir reports. How toned is your pelvic floor?

Relax into Inchydoney Spa

Sharon Ní Chonchúir savours the sublime new treatment at Inchydoney Spa. 'I LOOK terrible," I groaned as I caught sight of myself in the mirror. My partner nervously considered how to respond. "I wouldn't say you look terrible," he said. "You just look like someone who hasn't had a lot of time to spend on herself for a while."

The Irish Times
Swept up by the power of the sea

Ireland's first surfing camp for children with autism takes place this month. Surf 2 Heal brings a special water therapy experience to children and their parents, writes Sharon Ní Chonchúir OUT ON THE ocean, a small figure rises hesitantly to her feet.

VIDEO: Take a lesson in life on the Kerry cancer bus

The sky is dark and heavy with clouds as I pull into a Tralee carpark shortly before 8am on a weekday morning. My mood is equally downcast as I'm due to spend the day travelling to Cork on what is locally called the 'Cancer Bus' - a service that brings people from all over Kerry to their radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions in Cork University Hospital.

Food, nutrition and how we eat now

Irish Examiner
Sugar rush: Are you addicted to the white stuff?

Could you be addicted to a white substance that gives us a temporary yet thrilling rush of energy, but that can also cause significant health problems in the long term? This isn't a class A drug we're discussing. It's not even prohibited by law.

Irish Examiner
Are plant-based meat substitutes actually good for us?

The message is loud and clear. We must eat less meat to save the planet and protect our health. But what if the plant-based meat substitutes available in our supermarkets fail to deliver enough protein to sustain us?

The Benefits of Fermenting Foods

Bubble, bubble, fizz, fizz. These are the noises coming from many Irish restaurants as chefs becoming increasingly curious about fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi and kombucha. At Five Points in Harold's Cross, jars of sauerkraut and pickled beets and carrots line the shelves. At the Happy Pear in Greystones and Clondalkin, there's kombucha, kimchi [...]

Changing Tastes at Veginity

This is part three of a three part series on new vegan enterprises in Ireland. To read part one, an interview with Moodley Manor, click here. To read part two, an interview with My Goodness Food, click here. Q: What do Brad Pitt, Miley Cyrus and Rosanna Davison have in common?

Seaweed: A nutritious foodstuff that needs protecting

FEW people live as close to the sea as I do. My house is on a cliff at the north-western edge of the Dingle Peninsula, where it bears the full brunt of the Atlantic Ocean. Some of my neighbours still practice traditional ways and I occasionally see them collecting seaweed from the shoreline.

Social and women's issues

Irish Examiner
Would you dare to bare your body hair?

It's high summer and the women of Ireland are soaking in the sunshine in their bare legs, strappy sandals, and sleeveless T-shirts. To a casual onlooker, it may have seemed that the transition from the black tights and woolly cardigans of winter to this summer wardrobe was a quick and easy one.

Go with the flow: Beyond menstruation merchandise

Bold advertising campaigns have helped to change how we view menstruation but we need to keep the focus on women's experience, says Sharon Ní Chonchúir I'M on the rag as I write. Aunt Flo is visiting and it's very much my time of the month.

Hormone control: How the pill changes your behaviour

Sharon Ní Chonchúir talks to US psychologist Sarah Hill, who says the pill can affect your behaviour, sense of smell and choice of partner. Have you ever been on the pill? Considering it's one of the most reliable forms of contraception, many women are likely to answer this question with a yes.

The Irish Times
Spotlight on a refuge for alcoholics

A new film about the Depaul Trust's wet hostels, where alcoholics are allowed to continue drinking, challenges our perceptions of the homeless, writes SHARON NÍ CHONCHÚIR A DISHEVELLED man in an oversized raincoat and tattered hat weaves a shopping trolley through the streets of Dublin.

The environment

Parenting and relationships

Irish Examiner
Daddy's home: how fatherhood changes a man

Hagai Tzarfati and his wife Rosie Smallwood have had their lives upended. Since their son Elliot was born a month ago, this Dublin-based couple has been sleep-deprived and are now wondering how they will manage when Hagai goes back to work in a few days. "I'm dreading it," he says.

Irish Examiner
Mummy brain: under the microscope

I was unpacking the shopping when I realised I'd couldn't find my wallet. It wasn't in my handbag. It wasn't in the car. Nor was it in any of my usual spots around the house. Worried that I'd have to cancel my cards, I bundled my six-month-old baby into the car and rushed back into town, retracing the steps I'd taken that day.

Irish Examiner
Let's talk about sex - and let's discuss it from a young age

CAN you remember your mother or father sitting you down to have 'The Talk'? The one where they told you what they thought you needed to know about sex and making babies? For most of us, this talk was excruciatingly embarrassing.

Irish Examiner
Explore a world of wonder by the shore

I can close the front door of my house on the Dingle Peninsula and be on my nearest beach within five minutes. Fewer if I walk quickly. It is not the longest stretch of sand and, depending on the tides and time of year, it can sometimes be covered in seaweed so stinky we can smell it from our house.

Irish Examiner
Extra support makes world of a difference post-adoption

AMERICAN YouTuber Myka Stauffer was living the dream: a beautiful home and family. In 2017, Myka and her husband James, who now have four birth children, adopted two-year-old Huxley from China. Myka's YouTube figures soared thanks to entertaining footage of him adjusting to life in America and finding his feet in his new family.

Irish Examiner
Labour of love: Taking the surrogacy route to parenthood

Labour of love: Taking the surrogacy route to parenthood By Sharon Ní Chonchúir The decision by Rosanna Davison and her husband to look for a surrogate to carry their baby shows the lengths to which some couples go to realise their dream, writes Sharon Ní Chonchúir.

Birth of a new openness for mothers

From podcasts to TV programmes and forums, mums are breaking with tradition and freely talking about the trials of labour. But is this always a good thing, asks Sharon Ní Chonchúir.

Sharon Ní Chonchúir on having a baby despite her MS

MY NAME is Sharon and I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis). I used to keep that information secret. I even went as far as keeping it from myself, living in a state of denial about my own health for years. But now that's changed. I'm 30 weeks pregnant as I write this.

Irish society and culture

Irish America
Poets & Pubs in Dublin: A Literary Tour

By Sharon Ní Chonchúir, Contributor Dublin's fair city has changed in recent years. Cranes have come to dominate its skyline and people of all hues - Polish, Chinese and African as well as Irish - now throng its streets. Yet one essential aspect remains the same.

Irish Examiner
Childhood on Blasket island inspires films

CHILDHOOD memories are precious to us all. They give us a sense of where we came from and the people and places that shaped the adults we have become. Imagine how it might feel if your childhood memories consisted of life with your hippie parents on the Great Blasket Island at the end of the 1970s.

Irish America
Patriot Graves: Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery (Photos)

By Sharon Ní Chonchúir, Contributor April / May 2015 Shannon Ní Chonchúir visits Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery, the final resting place of many famous Irish people including Daniel O'Connell, Maud Gonne, and Brendan Behan, and talks to Aoife Kelleher about her doucmentary on Ireland's largest cemetery.

Irish language/Gaeilge

Irish America
Fáilte go hÉireann

By Sharon Ní Chonchúir, Contributor December / January 2020 ℘℘℘ A journey through the native Irish-speaking areas of Ireland These are the words of welcome that Irish people have greeted visitors with for centuries. They may well be the words that greet you when you visit.

Irish America
Motherfoclóir: A New Kind of Irish Language Revival

By Sharon Ní Chonchúir, Contributor February / March 2018 Darach Ó Séaghdha has been putting the fun back into the Irish language by translating words into English in a humorous, thought-provoking way, and deftly using Twitter to expand his audience.