About Phil

Phil Mac Giolla Bhain has been using his skills as a journalist and writer to campaign for social justice for over twenty years. He has established himself as a freelance journalist capable of consistently producing high quality articles.


In the early 1990s for The Irish Post in the UK. This period of Phil’s work saw him focus on the social exclusion of the Irish community in Britain. Born and reared in Glasgow in an Irish household Phil was an important voice during the days of the social exclusion of the Irish community in Scotland.

Phil has been based in the Gaeltacht village of Gortahork in County Donegal since he returned  home to Ireland in 1996 and has been a regular contributor to local and national Irish publications.

Keeping an eye on Russia!

In a series of articles spanning several years Phil penned a sometimes serious, sometimes satirical weekly column for the famous Tirconaill Tribune under the pen name “Liam Murphy”. From the man in the Donegal County Council planning office to the man in the Oval Office they all got it! The readership of this unique local newspaper were regaled, informed and entertained in more or less equal measure for four years. Phil decided on “Liam Murphy” as a tribute to his maternal grandfather who reared him as a child.


In late 2001 John Waters, Consultant editor at Magill commissioned Phil to write a series of articles for the magazine. The first was in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the USA. The second article was in November 2001 when Phil’s piece was the lead article in that edition on the subject of male suicide in rural Ireland. Articles followed included IRA decommissioning, deficits in the training of Social workers and the emotional pornography of ‘reality shows’.

Daily Ireland

In 2006 Phil was been a regular contributor to the new title in the Irish daily newspaper market. His contributions have ranged from the legacy of 1916 to the tune chosen by the BBC to mark the 2006 World Cup!

Flight of the Earls

Prompted by friends and colleagues to ‘do something extra’ with the Magill article “Flight Of The Earls”. Phil dramatised the piece and wrote a full-length play by the same title. The play was supported by Donegal County Council and was performed in the Balor Theatre in November 2005. The play the went into further development. Derry playwrite Dave Duggan came on board funded by the arts council and worked on the play as a script editor. This development was completed and the current play emerged from that process. Flight of The Earls toured the West of Ireland in theatres and community venues in  November/December 2007. Once again the play was directed by Declan Birney.


Phil was a regular guest on RTE’s “The Big Bite” hosted by David McWilliams.


Phil took in an art house project writing and acting in a play about the history of the Republican struggle in Ireland. The film, Directed by young Irish director Chris Slevin. Phil has written the script for the film and played the part of James Connolly during the 1916 GPO scenes, which were filmed in Vienna in 2006.

20 thoughts on “About Phil

  1. Stuzeeuk

    Whilst the Scotland has many reasons to be ashamed, it has also many reasons to be proud. We now battle England on the football field and not the battlefield.

    I worry for your hatred Phil of all things Rangers, and hope you can find peace with yourself and with those who your feel antagonise you so much. I am of no religion, although my wife is Muslim and my son will make his choice in time.

    Allah Akbar, find the peace in your heart Phil and not the hatred you seem burdened by.

  2. hiorta

    I enjoy your writing Phil, but I’m not keen on rattling ‘bear cages’ just for the schadenfreude of it. There is room for all and antagonism – like all things in life – will return multiplied. (Natural Law and damn all to do with any religion)
    I was born into Glasgow’s Gorbals in 1935 to Irish immigrant parents, brought up in the Roman Catholic ways, which I abandoned when 13 years of age, never looking back or going back.
    I hope your writing tasks bear fruit for you Phil in this rapidly changing world.

  3. Sam Davis

    You are a racist bigot who tries to play the victim, stew away in your own juices you horrible piece of scum

    1. Mikey Bhoy

      Tad on the harsh side there Sammy old boy…if you can’t handle the truth, i.e. famine song, up to your knees and all THAT bigotry bile, don’t read the blog…

  4. Oscar kiera

    Rab I suppose my tax that I pay must go to fund the non Catholic schools as you are paying my share to the Catholic schools,Which are open to children of any faith. As for the singing what part of Scotland are derrys walls on.

  5. rab fox

    I wish they would all follow phil and go home, the money saved on welfare cheques could go on hospital schools etc they can take their apartheid catholic schools with them (which we pay for) so by all means go home and sing whatever songs you like and support whatever cause you like dont do it here in scotland

  6. jim ward

    its great to find a jpournalist who isnt afraid to broach issues that the broader press wont touch with a bargepole. whilst i am sure the comments on this site will not be acceptable to many, especially in the west of scotland, this fact should not deny the right for it to be published and read. there shoulkd be no place in modern society for censorship of any kind. for too long these subjects have been brushed under the carpet.

  7. Craig

    You were born in Glasgow but then in 1996 you returned HOME to Ireland. Please do explain this one for me?

    Where in Ireland is Glasgow?

    Bigotry is going to be a long campaign to get rid of the hatred on BOTH sides. Sadly, people like you with a one sided mind and a clear agenda make me laugh with dispair but also cringe at your point of view.

    Do you realise that you sound like George Galloway?

    I do hope that one day you take the time to educate yourself better than you have done.

    1. Eoin O'Beachain

      Takes a long time to return home , foreign born paddies like myself born and raised in Ayrshire are paddies by any other name, one thing for sure we were never allowed to be Scots and on reflection I am happy in my skin now .

      1. Darren Starrahn

        yet you brandish a “45” pro independence banner as your profile picture? bizarre. you arent allowed to be scottish yet you are allowed to make a crucial decision as to the future of the country by being granted a vote in a referendum? give over.

  8. rabbie

    Think its the usual old Irish ‘suffering piece. But if they like it I would just let them carry on with it. I think everybody realises by now that they are only happy when they are complaining. The old M.O.P.E. name is not bestowed on them for nothing.

  9. william


    You are having a girraffe, Go on home British Soldiers ? fuck your union jack ? you ll never beat the IRA, What did the IRA do for 30 odd years, Kill innocents

    Oh Ah up the RA, I believe that is the same band of murderers

    Sean South, Was this the young man who led a cross border gang of IRA murderers to attack a rural police station in Bessbrooke. He was killed along with Fergal O’Hanlon when the besieged policemen defended themselves, The IRA had no support and had to force mourners to attend his funeral. So you maintain it is ok to sing songs about murdering cowards ?

    The boys of the old brigade,

    People who killed an unarmed 17 year old post office worker and who were stoned by the people of dublin when they SURRENDERED.

    Get a life you hate filled bigot

  10. Spuds

    Go On Home British Soldiers
    Errr…you taking umbrage at a song with “Go on Home” in it? OK I’ll run with that. The song contains no reference to terrorist acts, and simply tells British soldiers to go home. OK perhaps has some sinister overtones towards an occupying force, but praise the murder of innocents it does not

    Oh Ah Up The Ra
    That is from Celtic Symphony – doesn’t glorify terrorism – the line refers to graffitti on walls saying Oh Ah Up The Rah. Doesn\’t praise “terrorism”.

    Sean South
    A song about Sean South, a member of the Pearse Column, killed in 1957. Not about “terrorism”

    Boys of the Old Brigade
    Song where a veteran of the Irish War of Independance tells his son of comrades that died during the Easter Rising. Note I’m not including “Soon there’ll be no Protestants at all” because that ain’t part of the song and makes me cringe.

    But I’ll admit that hoping Nacho Novo (wee git that he is) dies in his sleep from an IRA bullet is pretty poor taste and dangerous.

    Anything else?

  11. Gary

    FAO Paulb1912

    The 4 songs you’ve listed, you only call them pro terrorist songs because you disagree with the Irish cause.
    Are you a supporter of the British cause in Iraq by any chance? If so, would you still support the British Army in spite of THEIR crimes against humanity?

    Fascism, Racism & Sectarianism have no place at football matches but people are entitled to express their politics, their stories and their songs, whether it’d be in a football stadium or in a pub. In my opinion, I don’t think the Celtic PLC have any right to ban Celtic fans for singing Irish songs, even if the songs contain the obvious 3 initials. If the club really wanted to get rid of it, they would have done it years and years ago. Those 4 songs you’ve mentioned are not sectarian! I will say though, the songs can be offensive to some and they have their reasons, even a few Celtic fans are uncomfortable with them. However, by the same token, pro-British songs/chants can be offensive to others. Folks who have lost loved ones to BA attacks and folks who’s homes, towns & villages have been occupied by the BA, this is currently happening to the Iraqis.

    Message to Phil, this may sound corny mate but you have a really cool surname lol. Your radio interviews on the famine song are spot on.

    Keep the faith


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