Music Ireland Publishing and Robert Gogan
Robert Gogan is owner of Music Ireland Publishing. Educated at De La Salle College, Churchtown, he joined the Civil Service in 1972. While working in the Court’s Services he studied Law in Trinity College and the Honorable Society of King’s Inns. He was called to the Bar in 1980 and practiced as a Barrister for some years.
During this time Robert started a very successful travel company, P.S. Travel, and followed on to open Gogan Travel and Travel Agency in Dame Street. Indulging his hobby in folk music and Irish ballads, Robert began to compile the first of his best-selling series of Irish ballad books, 130 Great Irish Ballads. Three more Great Irish Ballads volumes followed – 50 Great Irish Love Songs, 50 Great Irish Drinking Songs and 50 Great Irish Fighting Songs. A book of ballads in the Irish language is in the pipeline.
Taking a change of course, he then became Manager of the Multi Unit Development Division of North’s Auctioneers. (One of the few surviving companies mentioned in Ulysses that is still in business today.) In a decision to “retire” to the country Robert moved to Achill Island in 2003. Aware of the number of apartment blocks being built all over Ireland, he wrote his best-selling book The Essential Guide To Apartment Living in Ireland, which highlighted the pros, cons and legal pitfalls of apartment block management, rules and regulations.
He first read Ulysses while still at school in Churchtown and became an instant fan of Joyce’s mastery of language. Assuming that everyone else he met would enjoy the book as much as he did, he was initially surprised to discover that most people he spoke to had indeed attempted to read the great work, but had given up less than half way through. As he made his way in the world he came to realise that Ulysses was enjoyed by a select few and mostly literature students and academics. It became his goal to try to make Joyce’s most famous work accessible to more people.
In his quest to share his love of Ulysses and Dublin, Robert took on the task of ‘remastering’ Ulysses to encourage those who were ‘once bitten’ to have another go at reading the celebrated masterpiece. He published “Ulysses by James Joyce Remastered by Robert Gogan” in 2012. He also added a section of reading guidelines to further assist those who may be trying the book for the first time and those who are making another attempt.
He then wrote his new show – The Bloomsday Story – which takes the audience on a casual stroll with Leopold and Molly Bloom, Stephen Dedalus and friends, on their day long adventures in Dublin. The Bloomsday Story was offered for the first time as a rehearsed reading at the Dublin Book Festival in November 2012. Since then it has been performed for 2 nights at The Greville Arms Hotel in Mullingar in celebration of Joyce’s birthday. The Temple Bar Company will present the show on Bloomsday, June 16th, 2013 at St Werburgh’s Church in Dublin.
The most recent addition to Robert’s Joycean collection is his collaborative piece with writer and actor Paul Kennedy – The 3 minute Ulysses soon to be aired on RTE 1.
He lives and works from his home in the midlands with his wife Anne.