About the Authors
Brian O’Connell is a former director of Ireland’s only state-sponsored regional development agency, Shannon Development (1959-2014), established by Taoiseach, Seán Lemass, at the prompting of Brendan O’Regan. He served as chairman of the trading subsidiary of the latter, Shannon Heritage, which operates a wide network of cultural tourism venues such as Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and the Witness History Museum in Dublin’s GPO.
An engineer and businessman, he got to know O’Regan in the mid-1970s through his involvement in establishing an oil and chemical storage business in the deep-water port of Foynes, Co. Limerick. He later took the initiative to have Shannon Heritage commission an oral archive of the then eighty-seven-year-old O’Regan’s lifetime memories, which recorded his eye-witness observations on some of the most important events and individuals that had shaped the economic, political and social development of Ireland during his lifetime.
O’Connell’s biography, John Hunt, The Man, The Medievalist, The Connoisseur was published in 2013 and he earlier co-authored the biography of Tipperary man, General Sir William Parker Carrol, published in Spanish in 2009
Cian O’Carroll was appointed by Brendan O’Regan in 1960 as the first Estates Manager of Shannon Development with executive responsibility for significant new projects, such as Shannon Town Centre and the restoration of the Granary in Limerick City. He later was CEO of Shannon Heritage and project manager for the restoration of Knappogue and Dunguaire Castles.
After retirement from Shannon development, Cian was a heritage tourism consultant with assignments in Asia, Africa and Europe as well as in Ireland.
Cian’s published works include The History of Knappogue Castle and he has been a prolific contributor to historical and archaeological journals with more than a dozen articles in ‘The Other Clare’. He was editor of the new editions of two histories of Limerick by Lenihan and Dowd.
He is a former President of the Thomond Archaeological and Historical Society. Cian, who was born in Dublin, attended Belvedere College and UCD. He has lived in Limerick for many years.