About Tony

TonyMacaulay-7Tony 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.

Tony Macaulay reading Paperboy

In 2018 Paperboy was adapted into a musical with music composed by platinum selling artist, Duke Special.

Paperboy Stage

The musical premiered in the Lyric Theatre in Belfast to sell out audiences and excellent reviews.

“Paperboy” Youth MusicTheatre UK, Lyris Theatre Belfast 26.7.18

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.

Tony meets DoE

In 2016 Tony’s first three books were translated into Braille by prisoners in the Braille Unit in Maghaberry Prison.


76 thoughts on “About Tony

  1. Have just finished all 3 books. I was brought up in West Belfast until the age of 11. My parents’ first house was in Lyndhurst. I could picture vividly the places you described. So much of what you write resounds in me.

  2. Just finished all 3 books (after waiting patiently for them to be passed round the family!!!!)…absolutely brilliant…please let there be more Tony x

  3. I just finished reading “Paper Boy”. It was great and reminded me of when I toured Belfast back in 1970 as a
    Television News Reporter for a Hamilton Ontario (Canada) Television Station. As you well know the troubles were in hi gear at that time. I remember the Mountainview Pub being blown up[by a bomb while I was there. I married a Belfast girl and we were back and forth between Canada and Belfast many times from 1971 to 2002. My wife is currently reading “The Breadboy”. Looking forward to your new book.

    Bob Ireland

    • Thanks Bob. I remember that pub bombing very well. My parents knew some of the victims. It was a scary time for children like me. Thankfully Belfast is a very different place now. Thanks for getting in touch and I hope you enjoy Breadboy and All Growed Up.

  4. I grew up on the Shankill , born in brookmount st,. I now live in Canada and have enjoyed all three of Tony’s books. I’m delighted to hear there’s going to be another in the pipeline.

  5. Hi Tony my name is Sharon McGleave. You probably don’t remember me but we met some years ago when I was giving a course in the Shankill women’s centre. I was in the process of writing a book at the time and you gave me great encouragement. I have now published it as an ebook and wondered if we could meet again. I have mentioned you in the book and wanted to invite you to the official launch in An Culturlaan on the 17th April but Blackstaff wouldn’t give me your email address. Please feel free to contact me at my email address. My book is called ‘All by Myself’ and I write under the pen name of Susan Sands. Have read ‘Papter Boy’ and loved it.


  6. I recently rushed into my local library five minutes before it shut, with very little time to chose I grabbed Paperboy off the shelf not really knowing what it was all about. It is one of the best books I have ever read, I don’t think I have ever laughed out loud so much.

  7. I have just finished reading your latest book -‘All Growed Up’, which my Mother, Grace Foster, bought and you signed, at Burnside Church, Portstewart. I knew so many of the places you wrote about and it brought back lots of memories. We left Bellaghy to come and live in rural France in 2006 and it was a really ‘special read’ for me.

  8. Tony, enjoyed all three books very much here in Brisbane, Australia…..(originally from Lisburn). Have also bought them for my mum……..still in Lisburn. Great to hear there is a fourth on the way.
    Best wishes

  9. Was given ‘All growed up’ by my sister as a birthday present last week. I joined BRA as a 1st year in 1981/2 and remember going to see West Side Story……I’ve only read the first 3 chapters but it brought back many memories of Belfast…..I left for University in England in 1988, I was one of them, and now work in Cambridge so the memories are greatly appreciated. Will now be seeking out the other 2 books. Thanks.

  10. I’ve just finished reading your latest book and absolutely loved all three of them. I grew up near you in the same era and experienced many of the things you did, notably visiting Corrymeela, a primary school trip to Chigwell and especially being a bread boy (albeit for Ormo’s great rivals the Co-Op!!). Your books brought back many happy memories and I look forward to reading your fourth one in due course. I’m sure it will be “stickin’ out”!!

  11. Heard you today at the WI council meeting. Can’t wait to get all the books – I must say I could see your wife’s face at times during your reading and it was a picture too!

  12. Tony – I loved Paperboy! I laughed out loud through much of it and the words resonated so much. I was 10 in 1975 and grew up in Strabane/Derry and went to school in Coleraine. However when I left for university in 1983 I never returned as I found the past had been too painful. More recently I have been doing some work at the Peace Centre in Warrington which has helped me look at my past differently. You book brought in some fantastic laughter which has also been very healing. Thank you!

    • Thanks Amber. I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed Paperboy and especially to hear that it brought some healing. Keep up the good work at the Peace Centre in Warrington. I really appreciate you getting in touch.

  13. Hi Tony
    Have read all 3 books ,brought me back to my past, I grew up in sandy row Belfast at exactly the same time as you and was a paperboy selling the telegraph at the back of the city hall .
    It brought back very happy memories of how it was .Your detail and description of how people and families lived was spot on.
    Thanks for the memories

      • Hi tony
        I am sorry to say I came across this by accident as I have been living in england for forty years but your name reminded me of a boy I lived next door to. His brother played with “them” in the sixties. All of the family were musical and I always wondered if they were successful. I have read your emails and realise it could not be you as I was born in ross st, different part of the city to you. I will look out for your books .

  14. Hello Tony

    Just finished reading all three books. I could really relate to your books. I was seven in 1975 and grew up on the Falls Road (SO I WAS). Thoroughly enjoyed reading them I look forward to reading your next book so I am.

  15. Hi Tony, I have just finished reading all three of your books and have laughed all the way through them. I grew up in Glencairn an I’m a year younger than you and I can relate to so much that’s in your books. The blue lamp disco, queuing up to see Greese, His and hers hair dressers and alot more, enjoying the swings, slide and roundabout in woodvsle park. I am hoping that there will be plenty more books written by you with belfast humour in them. Take care and lots more success in your life.

    • Thanks for getting in touch. That’s lovely feedback! I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed the books. I’m writing the next book at the moment. It will be called ‘The Little House on the Peaceline’

  16. Tony, you signed my copy of Bread Boy @ Milwaukee IrishFest. My brother & I bought several books each and exchanged them so it took a while to read them all. I just finished and thoroughly enjoyed Bread boy and am glad you went to the West Disco with Judy Carlton and are Stayin’ Alive.

  17. Loved all 3 books looking forward to 4! Your writing brings me back to my childhood being from the woodvale I was born in 81 and found it incredibly mirrored even the decade apart thank you for your stories!

  18. Hi Tony, I have just read all three books in 11 days. I thoroughly enjoyed each one. I was a ‘method’ reader and was walking the street of West Belfast delivering the papers or bread with you each week. I am a country girl who went to live in the city in the late sixties so many of the places are very real. When can we have the sequel? I am looking forward to it very much.

    • That’s brilliant! Thanks for getting in touch. My next book will be published early next year. It’s called ‘Little House on the Peace Line’. Thanks again for the lovely feedback.

  19. I have come recently to your books through my book club. Enjoyed Paper Boy so much I went straight to Bread Boy and enjoyed it even more. The style of writing and the remiscinces took me back to an era long forgotten. Next book lined up. Thanks for the memories.

  20. Hi Tony was given paperboy by my wife when I was going on holiday. I have never laughed so much out loud it was brilliant. I just couldn’t put the book down. Then I went searching for more and bought Breadboy and was at your book launch in Belfast for All Growed Up. Hurry up can’t wait for the next one. I grew up in North Belfast and can associate with everything in your books. My Brother left Belfast for England in the early 70s and has read all 3 books. Says he ver laughed as much in his life. Thanks for 3 wonderful reads.

  21. Hello again Tony. Just a note to say that if you were around on Wed 23rd Nov., I would be delighted if you could join me for the launch of my new book – Arthur’s Dead (I mentioned it at your recent Larne workshop) – at Crescent Arts Centre, from 6:30pm

  22. Hi, Just heard several ‘Prayer for Today’ on Radio 4 at 5.45 am and wanted to know more about the Guy talking. So searched the Internet and I presume its you. So just wanted to say how relevant I found them. Glad to know you come from my Home Country as well. I have no accent but spent a lot of time raising money here on the Mainland for Corrymeela back in the 70s and 80s. So thanks again especially for the Comment ‘If you can’t change something them change your attitude’. I like that.

    • Thanks for getting in touch. Yes that’s me early in the morning on Radio 4 this week. Great to hear about your fundraising for Corrymeela. I went there as a boy in the 70s and it inspired me to become involved in peace building.

  23. Heard you reading from Paperboy at a talk you gave in St Thomas’ Church on the Lisburn Road. I would love to listen to this as a whole Audiobook – enjoyed your reading so much. Is there any chance of them coming out as Audiobooks with you reading them?

  24. Worked as a paperboy in Larne (same generation). Paperboy brought back so many memories. Always too cool to admit to liking Abba. Just finished Breadboy. For me phase 2 was ‘Chippy boy.’ Great reads Tony.

  25. Hi Tony,
    It’s Caroline (Gillespie) formally of 1 Lyndhurst Parade! I’ve loved reading your books and sharing the memories of childhood with my family who are now grown up. It’s been a real laugh out loud experience, I especially loved the descriptions of Wesley the bread man, haha!! Congratulations on your success and please pass on my best wishes to Terry and Barry.

  26. Hi Tony just finished Little house on the peace line, loved all four books. I have really loved the journey I took through your life stories. Thankyou. Robert.

  27. Hi Tony. Just finished All Growed Up in sunny Dubrovnik. A world away from your brilliant evocation of an 80s wind-swept NUU campus. As an ex-BRA boy (your cricket loving wee brother was a few years above me in school), your books always manage to send me off into some kind of nostalgic reverie (at odds with the reality of my situation at the time, when Willie Young was chasing me down alleyways at lunchtime ready to dole out yet another ‘Saturday’!) However, the ultimate accolade in my (not terribly impartial) eyes that can be bestowed on any author is that my auld Da devoured your books in single sittings, so…..
    keep on keepin’ on big lad!

  28. Hi Tony,

    I very much enjoyed reading the first three books.

    Recently visited family in Belfast and to my absolute delight was surprised to receive your 4th book as a very thoughtful gift…(NZ fathers day)…before my return to NZ…a great read.

    I must have been talking about your books and someone followed up on it !…delighted.


  29. Hi Tony!
    I’m curently reading Bread Boy, so I am, and enjoying it as much as Paper Boy. I grew up in Cregagh Estate in the 1950s and 60s, so I did, and I just wish I had as good a memory of those times as you have of yours. I’m also looking forward to meeting you at Saintfield Road Presbyterain Church Tuesday Break in the near future, so I am.
    John Hamilton

  30. Hello from the USA, Tony. (Timonium Irish Festival) Have read Paper Boy and Bread Boy and looking forward to All Growed Up. The books that you autographed will make their way into our Little Free Library and hopefully cycle through many hands and hearts. Thank you for sharing your experiences and we can only hope your efforts toward peace reach many. To the world!! Carol

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