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Posted 25 November 2010

Characters in Conversation: Stembridge and Dungan reminisce about 1970s Belfield

For young lads from Limerick and Meath, the Belfield of the 70s was packed with Friday night debates, student societies, classes chosen because they weren’t at 9 am, bedsit living and 2-bar heaters, avoiding SRC meetings, and the Canterbury Tale...

Listen to Gerard Stembridge and Myles Dungan reminisce on their undergraduate days in “the new” Belfield campus of the 1970s as part of Characters in Conversation.

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Gerard Stembridge

Gerard Stembridge graduated from UCD with a BA in 1979, an MA in 1980 and H Dip Ed in 1981.  During his time at UCD he served as the auditor of the L&H.   Debating to him was performance and although he acted with DramSoc, his UCD days convinced him that writing was the key to theatre. 

After a short career in teaching, he turned writing full-time, combined with acting and directing.  Although synonymous with the RTE Radio 1 satire, Scrap Saturday alongside Dermot Morgan, Stembridge’s body of work to date includes films, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Nora, Guiltrip, Black Day at Blackrock, About Adam and Alarm (which has such a strong resonance among many homeowners who find themselves in ghost estates today).

His theatre work includes:

  • 992
  • Betrayals
  • Ceaucescu's Ear
  • Daniel's Hands
  • Denis and Rose
  • The Gay Detective
  • Love Child
  • Melting Penguins
  • That Was Then

He has published two novels, According to Luke and Counting Down


Myles Dungan

Myles Dungan also has 3 degrees from UCD: BA 1974, H Dip Ed 1975 and an MA in history in 1977 and more recently spent six months at University of California, Berkeley on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Before finding his fulltime career in broadcasting, he too was a secondary school teacher.  His career with RTE spans current affairs – he was a reporter for Pat Kenny’s programme before being given his own – the Arts and most recently The History Show on RTE Radio 1, 6-7 Sunday evenings.

Among his books are:

  • Distant Drums – Irish Soldiers in Foreign Armies,
  • They Shall Grow Not Old, Irish Soldiers Remember the Great War,
  • The Captain and the King: William O'Shea, Parnell and Late Victorian Ireland,
  • Irish Voices from the Great War,
  • How the Irish won the West,
  • The Stealing of the Irish Crown Jewels: An Unsolved Crime,
  • Snuff (Glendale crime series). 
  • His most recent book: Conspiracy, Irish Political Trials begins with Robert Emmet and closes with Roger Casement.  It is also a radio series.

The Characters in Conversation series is open to alumni and friends of UCD.  Other “characters” include Peter Sutherland, Rosaleen Linehan, Olivia O’Leary, Denis O’Brien, Pat Kenny, Conor McPherson and Dave Fanning Further details are available here.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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Characters in Conversation: Stembridge and Dungan reminisce about 1970s Belfield
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