Henry McDonald

todayJune 11, 2021


Henry McDonald left us far too young on 19th February 2023. Henry was central in shaping Constructive Voices, with his brilliant interviewing technique, creative input and journalistic ideas and contacts. As well as being an immensely talented writer, journalist and broadcaster, Henry was a very kind and sensitive human being. 

Henry McDonald Constructive VoicesI met Henry on Twitter in 2020, and he agreed to a written interview with me that focused on the places that had inspired him as a person and his creative output. As soon as I saw the amount of work he had done to answer my questions, I was inspired to create my first podcast, Creative Places and Faces.

Once again, Henry had the patience of a Saint with me and not only agreed to record that same interview but also introduced me to some other top journalists and authors, including Malachi O’Doherty and Jan Carson. Both of whom i went on to interview for the podcast.

If you would like to hear Henry talk about his own work and how it is linked to Northern Ireland, Berlin, Brighton & Hove and Nerja and how these places affected him, head over to my interview with Henry McDonald.

Late in 2020, he told me of his plans to take early retirement from The Guardian and Observer Newspapers. At that stage, Constructive Voices, was already at a conceptual stage so I hopped on the chance to invite Henry to be part of it. 

During this time, Henry played the role of muse, mentor and virtual friend. He was especially kind to me when my partner had a cancer diagnosis and heart problems within a few months of each other. He even offered to speak to Joao, if he wished, even though they didn’t know each other.


Original short bio:

Investigative journalist and media commentator, who has worked at The Guardian and its sister title, The Observer for over two decades, where he was at the centre of the digital journalism revolution, and also covered Changing Streams and Inside Connections for The Guardian. He has written and worked for a number of international media titles, which includes – The Spectator, GQ, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Evening Press, Dublin, The Belfast Telegraph, Irish Echo, New York.

At the time of writing in 2021, McDonald was a regular contributor on BBC Radio Scotland discussing Northern Ireland affairs. He has participated in two separate podcasts for the Time of Our Lives programme, fronted by the highly-regarded, David Aaronovitch, which focused on recent violence in Ulster loyalist areas and the departure of Arlene Foster as Democratic Unionist leader and First Minister of Northern Ireland. The podcast is part of The Times Radio.

Written by: Jackie De Burca

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