John Waters, newspaper columnist, author, playwright and songwriter, was born in Castlerea, Co Roscommon, in the West of Ireland in 1955. He pursued a variety of occupations after leaving school, including railway clerk, showband roadie, pirate radio manager, petrol pump attendant and mailcar driver. He began part-time work as a journalist in 1981, with Hot Press, Ireland’s leading rock ‘n’ roll periodical, becoming a full-time journalist with the paper in 1984, when he moved to Dublin.
As a journalist, magazine editor and columnist, he has specialised in raising unpopular issues of public importance, including the repression of Famine memories in the Irish psyche and culture, and the denial of rights to fathers. His books include Jiving at the Crossroads (Blackstaff,1991); Race of Angels – Ireland and the Genesis of U2 (4th Estate/Blackstaff,1994); Every Day Like Sunday? (Poolbeg, 1995); An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Ireland (Duckworth 1997); The Politburo Has Decided That You Are Unwell (Liffey Press, 2004); Lapsed Agnostic (Continuum, 2007); Beyond Consolation – On How We Became Too Clever For God ... And Our Own Good (Continuum, 2010); Feckers – 50 People Who Fecked Up Ireland (Constable and Robinson, 2010) and Was It For This? – Why Ireland Lost the Plot (TransWorld, 2012). He has written plays for radio and the stage, including Long Black Coat (1994), Holy Secrets (BBC, 1996), Easter Dues (1998), and Adverse Possession (BBC, 1998). He has been a columnist with the Irish Times, Ireland's leading quality daily broadsheet, since 1990 and currently also writes columns for The Irish Mail on Sunday, The Irish Catholic, and Tracce/Traces, the international magazine of the Catholic movement Communion and Liberation.