Them people that does be doing the Convention
P-CON doesn’t really have a committee in the traditional sense, rather having something more akin to a cross between an anarcho-syndicalist commune and a benign dictatorship. There are also a lot of people who have helped out, or have volunteered to help out at the convention, who deserve a mention. Therefore, this is not so much the committee list as a list of those who have contributed to making the convention what it is, and what it will be.
Those who are directly involved:
Pádraig Ó Méalóid: Chairman & Guest Wrangler
Pádraig Ó Méalóid has been doing this kind of thing for some time now.
As well as running this convention, and P-CON I last year, he was on the committee for Octocon for the years 1991, 1993-1996, and 1999-2002, for varying lengths of time. He also served on the committee of the now defunct Irish Science Fiction Association (ISFA), and co-founded the Dublin-based SciFiClub in December 2000. He has variously written the newsletters for SciFiClub and Octocon, before starting Irish SciFi News in June 2002, which he still manages to get out on a roughly monthly schedule.
Besides all that, he writes reviews, articles, and news items for The Alien Online; occasional articles for Matrix, the news magazine of the BSFA; he runs SF table quizzes to raise funds for P-CON; and is also an honourary member of the Gay Trekkies, although not properly qualifying, on either count.
He works for a living at Yellow Brick Road, and is also an occasional second-hand bookseller, particularly selling secondhand SF books as conventions, and a little private dealing on the side. He used to sell books fulltime, having worked in Dandelion Books and The Flying Pig Bookshop.
He is engaged to be married to fellow committee member Deirdre Walsh, unless you’re reading this after August 13th 2004, in which case they are now married!
Director of Operations (or what) & College Societies Liaison
Gareth Kavanagh, despite being the youngest member of this committee, has somehow managed to find himself on not one but two convention committees this year.
As well as being P-CON’s college liaison and general helper-outer, Gareth was much involved in the organisation of Dominicon: Hazard, where he was convention director.
He has graduated from NUI Maynooth since this time last year, and is now Gareth Kavanagh B Sc, and has entered the wonderful world of work. Despite this, he has plans to remain involved in con-running in Ireland, and has a few ideas of his own about this.
Deirdre Walsh is originally from Waterford City, that jewel of the sunny southeast, but has lived in Dublin since she was a young girl, first in the lush rustic suburb of Portmarnock, and latterly in the even more salubrious townland of Donnybrook.
Her position on the committee is more nebulous than most, but she assists the chairman in almost all aspects of the running of P-CON, and is particularly involved with liasing with the hotel about rooms and times, as well as rates, both for the con and for the people wanting to stay there.
Deirdre is engaged to be married to fellow committee member Pádraig Ó Méalóid, and their wedding reception will be held in the same hotel as P-CON, though not at the same time. Deirdre reads a lot of fantasy fiction, being particularly fond of the works of Guest of Honour Juliet E McKenna, and enjoys Christmas more than most. She can be found most Sundays in Aya on Clarendon Street with the aforementioned Pádraig, where the magical words "all you can eat" draws them inexorably towards the sushi counter.
Siobhan McKenna comes to us from Dominicon, the Gaming & SF convention of NUI Maynooth, which she was involved in running, along with fellow committee members Gareth Kavanagh and Jennifer Power.
Originally from Cavan, but now living in Dublin, Siobhan, or Bon as she is universally known, studied Computer Science and Software Engineering (or CSSE for short) in Maynooth for four years, graduating in May 2003, and was president of their astronomy society, Astro 2 for two years, along with her involvement with Omega Society, the college’s SF society. Her final year thesis, an Autism resource site, can be seen here.
Besides all things SF/F, both written, cinematic and televisual, Bon enjoys writing, photography and fine art, as well as, as you might have surmised from the above, astronomy.
We are very happy to have her on the committee of P-CON, where we hope she will be happy for many years to come.
You can see Siobhan’s website here.
Jennifer Power, comes to the P-CON committee from NUI Maynooth’s Dominicon, their SF & Gaming Convention, like fellow committee members Siobhan McKenna and Gareth Kavanagh, and, at 21 years of age, she now ousts Gareth from his position of youngest committee member.
Jennifer is from Dublin’s Northside and an extremely extended family. She likes drawing – particularly dragons and fantasy – and is known for always having a pencil, rubber and sharpener handy. She plays not only any and all RPGs, but also camogie, a native Irish field game, best described as a kind of ultra-violent berserker version of hockey and is described as a recovering wargamer. She also writes. A lot. You can see some of her (outdated) writing here, and some of her art here.
Ian Sheppard: Site Manager & Eminence Gris
Tall, dark, suave, and debonair are just some of the words that are going to have to remain unused in attempting to describe Ian Sheppard. Seldom stirring from his native Limerick, Ian rather likes to keep an eye on proceedings in the sweltering SciFi hot-spots of Dublin from a safe distance. He occasionally sends coded messages to his acolytes via his occasional column of comment on Irish SciFi News, no longer discussing, as mentioned previously, "things like the relative merits of farm-bred versus free range chicken for supper, rather than more esoteric matters, such as world domination, or the correct way to worship the Dark One," but instead matters of deeper and darker import, such as the committee’s plan to change from Pilau to Basmati rice, and esoteric marinating techniques.
Besides all this, Ian makes the P-CON website look lovely, and also looks after the aforementioned Irish SciFi News site. His work continues to astonish and delight all who see it, not least the convention chairman.
He is currrently working on a documentary for the Biography Channel, charting the rise, fall and eventual rehabilitation of two TV greats, featuring candid interviews which discuss the highs, the lows and their addiction to Weed. Bill and Ben: The Wilderness Years should be making a debut this autumn. He is also exploring what could be described as his Resurrectionist approach to humour in a forthcoming book "The Burke and Hare Guide to Comedy."
Ian occasionally travels, complete with retainers and caravanserai, from his native Limerick, and is giving serious thought to making one of his rare visits to Dublin this November, to give his beneficent blessings to this convention.
Anne M Kletcha: Token non-existent committee member
Anne M Kletcha is a homophone(1) of the Irish language (or Gaelic, or Erse, depending on your preference) expression ‘Ainm Cleite.’
‘Ainm’ is the Irish for ‘name,’ and is ultimately from the same root, the Latin ‘nomen,’ itself derived from the Greek ‘onoma.’ ‘Cleite’ is the Irish for ‘feather.’ As a phrase, therefore, ‘Ainm Cleite’ translates as ‘feather name,’ or, more prosaically, ‘pen name.’ In this regard it is the lexical equivalent of the French expression ‘nom de plume.’
Anne M Kletcha is, therefore, a pseudonym, and one that is regularly used by one of the committee to write things like author bios for convention websites, as well as for writing puff pieces about this con for at least one well-known Internet SF news site. Anna’s non-existent status does not seem to prevent her from being a valued member of this committee, however.
(1) (homophone n. 1 a word having the same sound as another but of different meaning or origin [OED])
And those who are helping out in various ways:
The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)