Tony Macaulay is a bestselling author, leadership consultant, peacebuilder, broadcaster and suicide prevention advocate from Northern Ireland. He was raised at the top of the Shankill Road in West Belfast at the start of thirty-five years of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, an experience that has shaped his life.
He has spent the past 30 years working to build peace and reconciliation at home and abroad, working with hundreds of youth and community groups to break down barriers of mistrust, hatred and division. He has applied his experience and learning into leadership development and management of change and transition in many voluntary, public and private sector organisations.
Drawing on his experiences growing up in Northern Ireland, Tony has channeled his memories and observations into literature as another way of building conversations about peace and reconciliation. His debut, the critically acclaimed memoir ‘Paperboy’ (first published in Ireland in 2010) is a story that balances Northern Ireland’s turbulent social history with entertaining insights, wit and humour. It tells the warm, funny and nostalgic story of his years in Belfast in the 1970s working as a paperboy delivering the Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland’s leading daily newspaper) around his neighbourhood. His commitment to peace and reconciliation was formed a very early stage of his life and is consistently reflected through his writing.
‘Paperboy’ was very warmly received by critics and the public alike, and was picked up by the publishing giant HarperCollins. The book has now been published in the UK and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA and Tony himself is the narrator of the audiobook.
The musical premiered in the Lyric Theatre in Belfast to sell out audiences and excellent reviews.
The sequel, ‘Breadboy’, was published in 2013 and generated similarly high levels of critical acclaim and praise in Northern Ireland, the UK, Ireland and further afield.
Tony’s third book ‘All Growed Up’ was published in 2014 and was acclaimed as Book of the Week by The Irish News.
In his latest book, ‘Little House on the Peace Line’ (Blackstaff Press, 2017) Tony tells the story of how in the 1980s he lived and worked on the peace line in North Belfast tackling poverty and unemployment and supporting young people to reject sectarianism, segregation and violence as a way of life.
Tony has performed book readings at a range of respected literary festivals including: Aspects Literature Festival, Edinburgh Book Fringe, Belfast Book Festival, Dublin Book Festival, 4 Corners Festival and Féile an Phobail. He has also been a guest literary speaker at the Celtic Cultural Alliance, IrishFest Milwaukee, Mediators Beyond Borders (Los Angeles), Maryland Irish Festival and the Chicago IBAM (Irish Books, Art & Music) Festival.
He is now a regular speaker on Northern Ireland, peace building and creative writing at universities and colleges in the USA. He has given talks at Lehigh University and DeSales University in Pennsylvania, the University of Denver, Colorado, the University of Notre Dame and Goshen College in Indiana and Pepperdine University, University of California, Irvine, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and California State University, Dominguez Hills in California.
In 2012 the W.B. Yeats Society of New York invited Tony to present a reading of Paperboy in the National Arts Club as part of the 1st Irish Festival. In 2013 and 2014 he performed a series of readings from his books at the New York Irish Center as part of the 1st Irish Festival and returned to the National Arts Club in New York to preview ‘Little House on the Peace Line’ in 2016.
As a prominent writer, journalist and broadcaster, Tony has contributed to NVTV, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, Downtown Radio and BBC Radio Ulster. He writes for the Belfast Telegraph, the newspaper he once delivered.
In 2014 Tony was asked to present the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards to young people from Northern Ireland on behalf of the Earl of Wessex. In 2016 Tony was asked to present the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards to young people from Northern Ireland on behalf of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
In 2016 Tony’s first three books were translated into Braille by prisoners in the Braille Unit in Maghaberry Prison.