Ciara studied history as part of her degree in Humanities in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. She also has a H. Dip. in Primary Education and worked as a teacher in Ireland, Britain, America and Asia.
In 2007 Ciara completed her Masters in Museum Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
She currently works as a seasonal guide in Kilmainham Gaol and can be contacted through Kilmainham Tales
Following the critical acclaim of her first book “Madame”, Ciara is currently researching the life of Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell which will also be published by Kilmainham Tales.
Nurse O'Farrell, of course, was the person who was tasked with brokering the ceasefire and surrender of Patrick Pearse and his colleagues after the Easter Rising, 1916.
Not only was she painted out of the famous photograph of the surrender, but she has been effectively written out of Irish history since, despite the fact that she remained a staunch Republican until the day of her death.
But there are also rumours of an exciting transatlantic project which Ciara is considering and being considered for - more details as and when they become available.
In the meantime, Ciara is keeping busy. On the completion of her latest seasonal term in Kilmainham Gaol she decided to do something to help those less fortunate and agreed to have her head shaved for charity.
And that is what she did - something that would send shivers down the spine of yours truly writing this!
(Below) Nervous or what?!
The event took place in the Patriots Inn, Inchicore - the local for many of the staff of Kilmainham Gaol. This pub-cum-restaurant offers a fine selection of drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) and a range of Irish and Italian food seven days a week. On the first floor there is La Dolce Vita restaurant, and both it and the pub are spacious.
The Patriots Inn actively supports the local community and, on this occasion, did not let us down either. Laden plates of delicious finger food were served up gratis to all who attended and they even organised a special raffle - including prizes - which contributed handsomely to the final total.
Several Kilmainham guides - past and present - attended the de-coiffing and, of course, Kilmainham Tales was present to record this piece of local history for our loyal followers.
An obviously nervous Ciara waited patiently for local barber Ali to arrive. He came on time at 7.30pm and began almost immediately.
(Above) Now you see it .....
Having sat Ciara on a strategically placed chair on the lounge stage, he waved a cloak over her, magician-like, shrouding her in black, just her head protruding. Ciara grinned nervously for the camera.
(Above) Half way there. Snip, snip
Within moments the job was done with a professionalism many a champion sheep-sheerer would have envied. No wounds, no tears, no trauma. A job well done, as can be seen in the photo below..
Ciara expressed herself happy with the result (well, she would, wouldn't she?) - or was she just glad it was all over? - and finally had a relaxing drink. Now all she has to do is grow it back!
Ciara has asked us to thank her family, friends and work colleagues who helped her raise the incredible sum of €1,000 for two separate charities:
1. The Cian Collier Appeal: 16 year old Cian is taking part in an expedition to India this summer. He will be volunteering with the ARMDS society (Animators for Rural Multipurpose Development Society).
ARMDS is a non-profit, social development organisation which works with marginalised groups and communities. Cian will travel to Magaiyur in Tramil Nadu to work with children and people with disabilities.
As a baby Cian was diagnosed with retinablastoma (a rare form of eye cancer) in both eyes. One eye was removed and he has 6/36 vision in the other eye.
2. So Ciara decided some of the money should also go to St John's Cancer Ward in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin.
This ward is a recently-opened special room for teen cancer patients.
Ciara was overwhelmed with the support she received and sends
a special 'thank you' also to The Patriots Inn, Kilmainham for their support and, of course, to Ali the local barber for providing his shaving skills.
Beauty and the Beast (That's right to left, of course!)
Below we show freshly-shorn Ciara with hirsute Kilmainham Tales publisher Micheal O Doibhilin. Ciara's the one with no hair!
Below we show some of the photos of this wonderful event and we congratulate Ciara on her great big heart. We are sure the charities will echo that sentiment too.