Susan McKay

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Susan McKay (born 1957) is an Irish writer, journalist and documentary filmmaker.


Born in Derry, in Northern Ireland, McKay moved to Dublin in 1975 to study at Trinity College, Dublin (TCD). In 1981, she moved to Belfast to write her PhD at The Queen's University of Belfast but instead became one of the founding members of the Belfast Rape Crisis Centre. Thereafter, she worked on a number of community development projects before becoming a full-time journalist in 1989.

McKay was social affairs correspondent, and later Northern Ireland editor, for the Sunday Tribune.[1]  during which she won a number of awards, including Print Journalist of the Year in 2000[2] and Feature Writer of the Year[3]

In 1998, she published her first book, Sophia's Story the biography of a survivor of child abuse  Other books include Northern Protestants – An Unsettled People,[4] McKay has described as "a study of the people I uneasily call my own."[1] and Bear in Mind These Dead[5] a history of the Troubles from the perspective of those who were bereaved.

From 2009 to 2012, McKay was CEO of the National Women's Council of Ireland, but resigned in protest at a cut by the government of 40% of the organisation's funds.[6]

She has produced award-winning documentaries for radio and television, including The Daughter's Story,[7] about the daughters of Fran O'Toole, one of the victims of the Miami Showband Massacre in 1975, and Inez, A Challenging Woman[8] about Northern Irish trade union leader and human rights activist Inez McCormack.

She currently writes for The Guardian/The Observer,[9] The New York Times,[10] The Irish Times[11] and the London Review of Books.[12]


  • Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground (Blackstaff Press Ltd, 2021) ISBN 978-1780732640
  • From Belfast to Basra, and Back Again (Grosvenor House Publishing, 2013) ISBN 978-1781486528
  • Bear in Mind These Dead (Faber & Faber, 2008) ISBN 978-0571236961
  • Without Fear – 25 Years of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (New Island Books, 2005) ISBN 978-1904301875
  • Northern Protestants – An Unsettled People (Blackstaff Press Ltd, 2000) ISBN 978-0856406669
  • Sophia's Story (Gill & Macmillan Ltd, 1998) ISBN 978-0717137923

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Susan McKay – A Century Of Women". Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  2. ^ "ESB National Media Awards 2000". RTÉ. 1 November 2000.
  3. ^ "2002 ESB National Media Awards". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Northern Protestants". Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  5. ^ Anthony, Andrew (31 May 2008). "Review: Bear in Mind These Dead by Susan McKay | Watching the Door by Kevin Myers | My Father's Watch by Patrick Maguire". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Executive Board of National Women's Council of Ireland accepts resignation of Susan McKay as CEO". National Women's Council of Ireland |'. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Fran's daughters in documentary". independent. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Inez: A Challenging Woman". Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Susan McKay | The Guardian". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  10. ^ McKay, Susan (27 August 2018). "Opinion | No, the Church Does Not Love Ireland (Published 2018)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Susan McKay at the Irish Times". Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  12. ^ Susan McKay. "Susan McKay · LRB". London Review of Books. Retrieved 20 November 2020.