I've recently started listening to comedian Jarlath Regan's podcast An Irishman Abroad. The hook is pretty self explanatory. Irish people, or second generation Irish people talk about moving abroad to work. The series started off as comedians and comedy writers, but quickly came to take in footballers, playwrights, boxers and others who moved from Ireland to earn their living in England or other countries. Regan also writes about the people he interviews in the Irish Post. This is his interview with Father Ted writer Arthur Mathews.

Like most of the fee-paying private schools in Dublin, an obsession with rugby was foisted upon the students. To some extent this was what would give birth to his feelings that all establishments were silly by their existence. The strangeness of never-ending group rehearsals of songs to sing on the terrace — instead of actual classes — wasn’t lost on him. “Even when I was 12 or 13 I thought that this was an absurd scenario.”

His version of events is that it wasn’t until he met Graham Linehan some 10 years later at Hot Press magazine that his creative life really took off.

“I wasted a lot of years during the 1980s” — taking courses in screen printing, mural painting and anything that was going. “People had no jobs so everyone did courses or they did nothing.” Yet when you scratch the surface at all the truth of his achievements even, during this bleak period in Ireland’s history, they are significant.