Pat Ingoldsby

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Wax figure in the National Wax Museum of Ireland.
Wax figure in the National Wax Museum of Ireland.
Born 1942
Dublin, Irish
Occupation TV host, columnist, poet
Language English, Irish
Nationality Irish
Period 1977–
Relatives Maeve Ingoldsby (cousin)

Pat Ingoldsby (born 1942[1]) is an Irish poet and TV presenter. He has hosted children's TV shows, written plays for the stage and for radio, published books of short stories, and been a newspaper columnist. Since the mid-1990s, he has withdrawn from the mass media, and is most widely known for his collections of poetry, and his selling of them on the streets of Dublin (usually on Westmoreland Street or College Green).


In the 1980s, Pat hosted RTÉ children's TV shows named Pat's Hat, Pat's Chat, and Pat's Pals. His plays include Bats or Booze or Both (Dublin, Project Arts Centre, 1977); Hisself (Dublin, Peacock Theatre, 1978); Rhymin' Simon (Peacock Theatre, 1978); When Am I Getting' Me Clothes (Peacock Theatre, 1978); Yeukface the Yeuk and the Spotty Grousler (Peacock, 1982); and The Full Shilling (Dublin, Gaeity Theatre, 1986).

In the early 1990s, he had a column in the Evening Press (a now-defunct national Irish newspaper). These columns were later collected in The Peculiar Sensation of Being Irish.

Ingoldsby is a fluent Irish speaker and includes a few poems written in Irish in each book of poetry.

He lives in Clontarf, in Dublin, Ireland. Since sometime in the mid-1990s, he has withdrawn from TV, radio and theatre, instead devoting his efforts to poetry. Pat is still part of Ireland's arts scene, sometimes opening Art exhibitions,[2] introducing then-new musicians such as David Gray,[3] or launching other people's books.[4]

He self-publishes through Willow Publications, which he set up and named after one of his pet cats (who later died).

Some of his books since 1998 have carried a note that they are protected by the "Bratislava Accord 1993, section 2 cre/009 manifest-minsk", the terms of which allegedly protect his book's content from being included in:

  • school textbooks
  • examinations
  • elocution classes
  • anything with the word "Arts" in it.


Most of Pat's poems are about his personal experiences, observations of life in Dublin, or mildly surreal humorous possibilities.

Topics of personal experiences vary from the death of his father, or the electroconvulsive therapy he received (c. 1988), to his appreciation of the natural world or his pets (mostly cats, but also some fish).

Observations of Dublin are mostly humorous conversations overheard on the bus, or the characters he sees and talks to while selling his books on the streets. Some observations are not so cheerful as he also sees the drunks and the homeless of Dublin city, and the some aspects of modernisation which he isn't pleased with.

His most distinctive style of poetry is his humorist style. A recurring character, Wesley Quench, appears in roles such as the driver of a Flying See-Saw Brigade. Another poem, "Vagina in the Vatican," depicts a vagina sneaking into the Vatican unstopped because no one knew what it was – except for a few who couldn't let slip that they did.

He also occasionally produces stories for children. These are a childish version of his mildly surreal style.

During the rapid increase in the use of mobile telephones, he offered a "Mobile Phone Euthanasia" services on the streets of Dublin, where he would destroy phones for annoyed owners.

His cousin Maeve Ingoldsby is a playwright.

When Pat is selling his books, more often than not, he can be found on Westmoreland Street.



  • You've Just Finished Reading This Title
  • Rhyme Doesn't With Reason
  • Up The Leg of Your Jacket
  • Welcome to My Head (Please Remove Your Boots) (1986)
  • Salty Water (1988)
  • Scandal Sisters (1990)
  • How Was It For You Doctor? (1994)
  • Poems So Fresh And So New ...Yahoo! (1995)
  • If You Don't Tell Anybody I Won't (1996)
  • See Liz She Spins (1997)
  • Half A Hug (1998)
  • Beautiful Cracked Eyes (1999)
  • The Blue E-Tee Wet! (2000)
  • Do Lámh I Mo Bhrístí (2001)
  • The Frenchwoman and the Sky (2003)
  • Once Upon A 'hide (2004)
  • I'm Out Here (2005)
  • Can I Get in the Bath? (2007)
  • Once Upon A Wicked Eye (2008)
  • I Thought You Died Years Ago (2009)
  • Hitting Cows with a Banjo (2011)
  • Pawmarks on My Poems (2013)
  • Mise MacGiolla (2017) (in Irish)

Other works

For adults

  • Hisself (Play, Peacock Theatre, Dublin)
  • When am I Gettin' Me Clothes (Play, Peacock Theatre, Dublin) (Later adapted for radio play on RTÉ Radio 1)
  • The Dark Days of Denny Lacey (radio play, RTÉ Radio 1)
  • She Came Up From the Sea (radio play, RTÉ Radio 1)
  • Fire Is Far Enough (radio play, RTÉ Radio 1)
  • Liffey Ever Is (radio play, RTÉ Radio 1)
  • The Peculiar Sensation of Being Irish (short stories) (1995) ISBN 1-873548-31-1
  • Laugh Without Prejudice (short stories) (1996) ISBN 1-873548-37-0
  • My Own Voice (Audio CD of Pat reading some poems)
  • Let Me into Your Ear (Audio CD of Pat reading more of his poems)

For children

  • Zaney Tales (short stories book)
  • Rhymin' Simon (Play)
  • Yeukface the Yeuk and the Spotty Grousler (Play)
  • Tell Me A Story Pat (Audio Tape)

Ingoldsby also wrote some episodes of Wanderly Wagon

External links

  • Bio at Irish Playography
  • RTÉ Radio 1, "One Potato, Two Potato, Three" In what is now an oral history of Dublin, Pat Ingoldsby records children playing street games and singing songs (Broadcast 1977)

Weak links

Since Pat withdrew from the media spotlight before the blossoming of the Internet, it can be hard to find information about him and his work. The following links contains small bits of information.

  • A page mentioning Pat's father at the Wayback Machine (archived 27 October 2009)
  • "A page which mentions a 1993 film about Pat "Between Stations"". Archived from the original on 27 November 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2004. 


  1. ^ Pat Ingoldsby Archived 13 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Arts Council of Northern Ireland". 
  3. ^ "David Gray: drunken gibberish: frequently asked questions". 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 December 2004. Retrieved 2005-10-24. 
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