Nithe faoi Sheanán
Here's the skinny on my life
Words to describe Seanán:
Actor, translator, proofreader, lecturer, commentator, broadcaster, writer, activist, polyglot, story-teller, history-maker.
Pronouced Shanawn O Cushteen
Seanán means the old wise man or the person who is wise like an old person. Sean is the Irish word for “old”.
34 years of age, from Cill Choca/Kilcock.
The third child of five; the eldest son.
Father, John Joe Costin, was an award-winning landscaper and horticulturalist. Once named in “Who’s Who – the 1,000 Most Influential People in Ireland”; former landscape advisor to Charles Haughey
Seanán’s second cousin is the most famous dancer in the world – Michael Flately. Michael’s mother and Seanán’s mother are first cousins and have the same name – Elizabeth Ryan.
Attended Gaelscoileanna in Léim an Bhradáin and Cill Choca where he learned Irish – which changed his life. Attended Maynooth Post-Primary School where he was a class representative and was given a certificate as the “Best Student Councillor” at his school graduation at the end of June 1999.
A week later at the beginning of July 1999, he attended a FCÁ (military reserve) camp and won the prize of “Best Recruit”.
Studied politics and history in the University of Limerick where he was a class representative. After did a graduate management course in Belfast where again he was a class representative. Later did an English to Irish translation course in Carna, Conamara.
Made history as the youngest ever Irish MEP candidate in the 2004 European elections at 23 years of age. He stood as an independent candidate in the Eastern constituency just ten days after he had finished his university degree.
He attended Barack Obama’s first inauguration in January 2009 – had one of the last tickets to be near the Capitol in Washington D.C. He reported it for one of the main radio stations in Dublin, 98FM.
He speaks five languages to various levels of fluency. Fluent in Irish and English, has a high level of French and some Portuguese and Spanish.
Spent two years and eight months living in Luxembourg from June 2012 to February 2015.
Previously worked as an Irish-language proofreader in the Publications Office of the European Union in Luxembourg. He was the first person in the history of the Publications Office to work in two languages – Irish and English.
Having lived in Luxembourg and worked in the European Commission, Seanán is the person Raidió na Gaeltachta call when they want someone to comment on European matters.
Has acted in amateur dramas including “Translations” by Brian Friel and “Little Women” by Louise May Alcott. He is currently doing an acting course to pursue more in this area.
Seanán is a big believer in volunteering and campaigning for a better world for all. Was a former member of the committee of Burma Action Ireland, an organisation that supports the struggle for democracy in Burma, and a former director of “Show Racism the Red Card”, an anti-racism organisation in Ireland. Former volunteer leader in the Foróige youth club in Kilcock and volunteered in the Tidy Town group in Kilcock.
He is a translator of software into Irish. Along with another man, he set up www.nascanna.com the website for software in the Irish language.
Seanán is a bibliophile and an avid reader. He is constantly buying more books in various languages and has never enough time to read them all. Among his other interests are current affairs, cycling, travelling, learning languages, and telling jokes and funny stories.
Lecturing in Germany
Teaching Irish culture
I was a part-time university lecturer in the University of Trier in Germany from November 2014 to January 2015.
Taught an Irish Cultural Studies Class to a mix of students keen to know about Ireland. The class covered Irish geography, history, society, economy, politics, music, dance and the Irish language.
“The class was really worth getting up on Saturday mornings.”
“Despite the long hours on a Saturday I’m happy with the way the class was held. A good and friendly teacher.”
“Good atmosphere, first-handed insight into Irish culture, almost always felt entertained and motivated to listen”
“Very friendly atmosphere, enjoyable time and I really need to go to Ireland now!”
“Very entertaining and interesting”
“You are a chilled person, I’m glad I took this class, you did a good job. Keep teaching pls.”
“It was absolutely lovely and enjoying time to spend Saturdays and I didn’t regret it! Well done!”
History, politics, human rights, campaigning for justice
Acting on stage and on screen
Acting in dramas
Over the last few years I have tried my hand at various types of acting. My first foray into the acting world was as an extra for the wildly successful television drama “The Tudors“. This was filmed in County Wicklow. It was great fun to don period costumes each day and to move around the highly detailed sets with the many other extras.
Due to my height, the producers selected me for a special role in the show. I was to be a royal bodyguard. This required that I wear a special fancy uniform as bodyguard to the king.
When I moved to Luxembourg, I also was an extra in an Irish film partially shot in Luxembourg. From a small beginning as an extra I moved quickly to a larger role, but this time on the stage. An English-language amateur drama club in Luxembourg, the New World Theatre Club, decided to produce the Irish play “Translations” by Brian Friel. As an Irish person, I was asked to audition as they needed an Irish cast. I was successful in my audition and the producers offered me the role of Doalty, a young, not so bright farmer who is also a trickster. The role was first performed in 1980 by a then little known actor called Liam Neeson.
Doalty’s role in the play is to introduce humour and mischief but towards the end there is an undertone of danger. Doalty demonstrates an intelligence unseen when he first arrives on the stage. This role suited me very well as I had no previous theatre acting experience and a small humorous role was an ideal way to become accustomed to acting on the stage thus allowing me to perform and gain experience that could be used for larger roles in other plays. I enjoyed the rehearsing and the company of the cast and producers of the play. Some friends of mine quipped that the role suited me perfectly and I did not seem to be acting as Doalty, I was just being myself on stage! Perhaps this is why I enjoyed the role of Doalty so much.
As the play “Translations” is about an Irish-speaking community slowly learning the English language, there are many words in the Irish language in the script. Being a fluent Irish speaker, I was the Irish-language adviser for the play. The director of the play, John Turnbull, thanked me especially for my help with this.
Having wet my feet in the big ocean of drama, I was ready to give it another shot. Producers from another English-language amateur theatre group saw the “Translations” performances and contacted me when they were looking for young men to audition for their new play “Little Women” by Louise May Alcott. I was successful in my audition and I was offered the role of John Brook, the tutor to the young Laurie. Again, this was a small but humorous role. This production was more intense than the previous one and I was more often on stage. Originally an American accent was required but I was unable to nail that accent so the producers decided to leave it as an Irish accent.
People who saw me in both plays thought that I acted very well and that I had a great presence on the stage. I found both plays to be very rewarding experiences and I enjoyed working with the cast in each play.
When I returned to live in Ireland in 2015, I enrolled in an acting course in the Filmbase in Dublin. This was the first time I did any formal acting training. Many topics were covered in the course including how to breathe, how to prepare the body for acting, comedy, improvisation, and how to develop charisma as an actor.
Some photographs of my life
Some photographs of me from some places I have visited and things that I have done
Lots of things done
I have a wide range of experience in many fields and countries
Promoted the Irish language in Baile Locha Riach, a small town in the west of Ireland.February to May 2015
Lectured in the University of Trier, Germany.From November 2014 to January 2015
Worked as an Irish-language proofreader in the Publications Office of the European Union in Luxembourg. Corrected the Official Journal of the European Union and other publications.From 2012 to 2014
Worked as the Public Relations Officer for the Spiritan Asylum Services Initiative (SPIRASI) to tell the story of refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland.From June 2011 to March 2012
Worked as a Marketing Executive for an Irish-language organisation, Gael Linn, visiting schools in four counties to encourage children to attend summer colleges.From September 2011 to March 2012
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