Peter Moloney - The Collector
Peter Moloney was born in Buncrana, County Donegal, in 1951, the youngest of seven children. Three years later the family moved to Derry where his mother ran a public house in Butcher Street. The family moved to London in 1959 but Derry remained its spiritual home and Peter has returned there for lengthy visits every year since: in his own words "the most memorable" being August 1969.
After secondary school Peter studied art in London for two years before embarking on a course of architecture at the prestigious Architectural Association – the AA. It was there that he met Brian Anson and began a life-long friendship, which has embraced the worlds of art, architecture, a love of Ireland and a commitment to the struggles of community groups. With Brian, and others, he became involved in a wide range of community housing struggles including the central London area of Covent Garden, the mining region of the Afan Valley in South Wales, the textile communities of The Colne Valley in Yorkshire and many other situations. His last work with Brian, long after his student days, was the successful campaign, in the mid-1980s, to demolish the infamous Divis Flats in West Belfast.
Since leaving architecture school 27 years ago Peter has worked in the Housing Departments of two London boroughs in the north and east of the city. He has spent his working life, as a project manager, over-seeing the redevelopment and refurbishment of some of the poorest and most rundown estates in London. In his "free" time he ran (for three years) an Irish Aspects course at Goldsmiths College London and he was a founding member of the Lewisham branch of the Irish in Britain Representation Group (IBRG). He has lectured widely in Europe and America on topics as diverse as Irish history, poetry and folk songs (of which he has a large collection): for six years he ran a folk club in South London. A natural folk singer he has performed with a number of groups throughout England. He has also lectured widely on a "specialist" subject dear to him – the forest hospitals built by the Yugoslav partisans during World War Two.
© Peter Moloney