My Tipperary Life with songwriter Susie Q

Niamh Dillon


Niamh Dillon


My Tipperary Life with songwriter Susie Q

Susan Quirke is a musician, singer, song-writer, co-producer and recording artist. She is also a meditation teacher, a holder of mass meditation experiences, and a multi award-winning social entrepreneur for her work in the field of mental health.

She has performed at the Electric Picnic and Body&Soul festivals and also for figures such as the Dalai Lama and the President of Ireland. For more information:

What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend in Tipperary?

It’s hard to beat the Glen of Aherlow. It’s truly spectacular. I love being outdoors and spending time in nature and we’re blessed to have this stunning natural wonder on our doorstep.

After a walk there I would join my lovely parents, Bertie and Mairead Quirke, for a meal at the Ballykisteen Hotel. They are mad for the golf and it’s a lovely place to be.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Tipperary in your lifetime - and why?

That’s a tough one because often the true heroes are people we don't know about, especially those working in the community, and people like carers and volunteers. Needless to say, there are some great Tipp people like Adi Roche, the Clancy Brothers, and Shane Long and so many GAA heroes.

You could say the great actor and activist Martin Sheen is a Tipp man too. His mother was from near Borrisokane. If I had an award for the greatest contribution it would go to the various community groups and leaders who are working behind the scenes.

What's your first Tipperary memory?

One of my first memories is going into Wellworths in Tipperary town with my mother. We used to head in every Saturday to get ‘the messages’. I remember making a bee-line for the pick’n’mix sweets. Happy days.

What's your favourite part of the county - and why?

The Glen of Aherlow, no doubt about it. It’s just stunning.

What do you think gives Tipperary its unique identity?

I think Tipperary is perhaps one of the most unspoilt counties in the country. It's beautiful, has huge variety and a rich heritage. I think Tipp people are very down to earth and grounded, and good craic too!

Do you have a favourite local writer or author?

There’s no denying how talented Donal Ryan is. I’ve been inspired to learn how he faced so much rejection early on but went on to huge acclaim. My gorgeous husband Ruairí McKiernan has a book coming out this March (Hitching for Hope) so I’m aware of how intense the creative process can be, and all about promoting Irish writers!

What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?

The biggest challenge facing the world is an ecological crisis so there’s no escaping that in Tipperary. So too the stresses and strains that so many people are under, especially in rural Ireland where we often lack proper services and supports.

If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Tipperary, what would it be?

I’d love to see more investment in our health and social services which badly need it. I also do a lot of one to one work with people and teach meditation, so I’m witnessing the amount of stress and anxiety many people are dealing with.

I see the profound impact meditation has when people try it, so I’d love for more people to experience it. It really eases people’s nervous systems. The practice of daily meditation radically changed my life.