Those who regularly read “An Phoblacht – Republican News” will remember the little cartoons that appeared on the back of the paper. These cartoons ran on consistently from 1976 until the mid-2000s. He had another regular strip in Socialist Challenge (later Socialist Action) during the late ’70s and ’80s. And also I might mention ten full issues of “Resistance Comics”, from 1975 to 1978, which were nearly all his own work (And there was one more issue numbered 7 1/2 which were reprints of his “Notes by Cormac” strips from the aforementioned Republican News).
Some of his cartoons have been collected into books of various sizes, the earliest being “Cormac Strikes Back” from 1982. Another is “The Comic Book of MI5”, a collaboration, dealing with that secretive and downright creepy secret service. And there’s “Dog Collars”, about the clergy in Northern Ireland, Catholic and Protestant (script by “Cormac”, from the Catholic side, and Ian Knox, from the Protestant side). The most recent volume is “The Peace Process According to Cormac” from 2005.
He also turned his hand to drama. One example is the radio play “Gibraltar (and the days that followed)”, about the tragedies of 1988. In 2002 he wrote “Paddy on the Road”, a monologue about Christy Moore (no relation) with Terry O’Neill in the title role. Then came “The Session” the following year.
And then there was music. He only started to learn the guitar when he was nineteen and he was practically learning from scratch (pretty much the same way he learned cartoons and caricature). But by 1976 he was cutting records with Joe Mulheron and the Men of No Property, writing and recording contemporary rebel songs.
Among the people whose art and music influenced him were Art Spiegelman, Robert Crumb, W. Heath Robinson, Aubrey Beardsley, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson…
He was a playwright, satirist, musician, family man, husband…
He was my father.