An Irishman Abroad

Karl Geary: Episode 183

March 18, 2017

Karl Geary is best known to music fans as one of the founders of the infamous Sin-é café in New York City, which saw acts such as Jeff Buckley, Shane McGowan and Marianne Faithful frequent it’s small stage to a devoted audience in it’s short lifetime. This week Karl joined Jarlath to tell the story behind his stunning debut novel Montpellier Parade. Highlights include how he opened Sin-é with owner Shane Doyle (17:00) and how they blagged their way to getting the Pogues perform there (20:00). Karl also discusses his career as an actor including appearing alongside Bill Murray, Helen Mirren, Ethan Hawke and Sam Shepard (30:00). 

In this fascinating conversation, Karl tells us the story of how he left Ireland for America at the tender age of 16 (5:00) and the role the ‘state sponsored fear’ of 1980s Ireland played in his emigration (11:00). From telling the story of the time he was mugged at gunpoint (14:00), to the Irish ability to keep banter going (52:00) and much more, this episode is an enthralling conversation with a man who has experienced enough for three lifetimes in just 44 years.

To access the entire archive of episodes in the series, download the Irishman Abroad android and iPhone apps for free in the app stores today (links below).

The Irishman Abroad podcast is crowd funded and is only made possible by the listeners’ generosity. We sincerely appreciate your continued support. Donate the gift of £20 today via PayPal ( and by way of thanks, we will send you a beautiful Irishman Abroad bag wherever you are in the world.

An Irishman Abroad is brought to you by Currency Fair. Currency Fair is the official partner of the podcast. To get great exchange rates and to avoid ridiculous bank and broker charges when transferring money to anywhere in the world go to Get updates on future episodes and live shows by following @jarlath on Twitter, visiting or email the show directly on

Disclaimer: All materials contained within this podcast are copyright protected. Third party reuse and/or quotation in whole or in part is prohibited unless direct credit and/or hyperlink to the Irishman Abroad podcast is clearly and accurately provided.