About Phil

Phil Mac Giolla Bháin is an author, blogger, journalist and playwright.

Phil has been using his skills as a journalist and writer to campaign for social justice for over 35 years. He established himself as a freelance journalist capable of consistently producing high-quality articles.

Since 2008 he has utilised this website to break many stories, mainly related to Scottish football.

His 2012 book “Downfall: How Rangers FC self-destructed” was a controversial bestseller.

In 2013 his book “Minority Reporter: Modern Scotland’s bad attitude towards her own Irish” was welcomed within the wider Irish diaspora as an important work.

In 2018  his debut novel “The Squad”, a fast-paced political thriller was published by Frontline Noir.

Phil is also a published playwright.

He was the fan’s choice for Best International Football Blog at the Football Blogging Awards in 2016.

He is a lay activist in the National Union of Journalists, holding several national posts.

Phil has been based in the Gaeltacht village of Gort a’ Choirce in County Donegal since he returned  home to Ireland with his young family in 1996.

Since then he has been a regular contributor to local and national Irish publications.

He was a staff journalist with An Phoblacht for many years.


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.

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, 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 came back to the theatre in 2015 when he wrote a play about the events around the Scottish independence referendum of 2014.

The play was first performed in March 2015 as part of the Saint Patrick’s Festival in Glasgow 2015.

The work was produced by the Sweet For Addicts theatre group and it received a favourable review from renowned theatre critic Joyce McMillan.


To celebrate the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916 Phil again wrote a play for the Sweet For Addicts theatre group.

The work re-imagined the Revolutionary period within a modern Scottish context, exploring the relevance of those seismic events in another country 100 years ago.

As with “Hame”, the play was sold out and well received by enthusiastic audiences.



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