Paddy Gormley likes to challenge
He believes that
human behaviour is largely governed by dubious assumptions
that are rarely called into question. His factual writing
is principally concerned with re-evaluating such assumptions
and encouraging readers to think again.
Until the Millennium, PG's factual writing was exclusively
aimed at business people, and professional partnerships in
Since 2000, Paddy Gormley has applied his business
experience and advocacy skills to the writing of persuasive
copy for diverse organisations and individuals in
the context of his web design business.
Other factual/debating projects include a major
study of the creative process and a critical review of the
philosophy of Scientific Realism.
See the teaching
resources page of this website for further factual projects
that have been singled out because they are designed to assist
study rather than simply to provoke thought.
in left or right margins to return to the head of the page.)
Matters project was inspired in 2008 by Paddy Gormley's
realisation that Richard Dawkins'
stance as a Radical Atheist - a firm believer in the
non-existence of God, as opposed to a mere agnostic - was
inconsistent with his role as a scientist: science
is unable to prove the non-existence of anything.
PG set out to challenge the seemingly widely held view that
the existence of the material world has been proven beyond
question. From the outset, he determined to keep God
out of the equation, instead using scientific principles
and recent developments in technology as the corner-stones
of his logic.
Click on the image on the right for the Meta
Matters website, which includes click-to-play film
and audio illustrations of Paddy Gormley's fascinating work
in this field, including several live audience talks with Q&A.
Paddy Gormley's interest in creative
writing (as detailed on the drama/fiction page
of this site) has given rise to his growing interest in the
subject of creativity. His book, Language
with Altitude, (see the Teaching Resources page for
further details) sets out a radically new approach to creative
writing, based on PG's study of the music of language and the
workings of memory and the mind.
Paddy Gormley is seeking a publisher for his second book
on creativity, Re Creativity,
begun in 2008. Re Creativity aims
to bring together, for the first time in one place, all PG's
teaching and thoughts about the creative process, memory
Early drafts of the opening chapters of the book suggest that Re
Creativity will extend Paddy Gormley's thinking into
new areas by causing him to examine how creativity affects
people's working and private lives and, in turn, how people
may seek to improve themselves by increasing their creative
The click-to-play excerpt (right) is taken from the opening
chapters of the book, which explore the development of creative
skills in childhood and consider how and why our thinking as
adults tends to be largely constrained by rules.
Paddy Gormley began his website
design business in 2001, applying his questioning, analytical
approach to ensure that clients' websites were truly purposeful,
and providing clear, well-written copy that satisfied the demands
of website visitors and search engines alike. PG has
created more than 100 websites for a wide range of organisations
This series of six
quarter-hour radio talks offers a further perspective
on the creative power of radio, using Paddy Gormley's models
for creativity, memory and imagination to explain why, on
radio, "the pictures are better".
Click on the image on the right for the Write
Minded website, which includes a full recording
of the first of the talks and synopses of the other five.
PG developed exceptional analytical
thinking and writing skills when working as an independent
legal business consultant in the 1990s. His major research
study into top UK companies' attitudes to solicitors, in 1991, New
Approaches to Client Development, revealed widespread
client dissatisfaction with the service (as distinct from the
advice) offered by leading law firms. This prompted Paddy
Gormley to begin a nine-year crusade aimed at persuading solicitors
to develop better approaches to pricing, practice economics,
marketing and service delivery.
He gained a considerable reputation among leading lawyers
for his iconoclastic writing and public speaking. PG's
writing in this field includes more than fifty articles,
two self-published books (Practical
Pricing and Practice without
Precedent), two major research reports and countless
presentations at conferences, workshops and dinners.
Much of Paddy Gormley's writing for Leading
Lawyers remains relevant today. Accordingly,
PG hopes to develop an internet-based archive during
2010. Click the images on the right for illustrative
A 7-page research-based extract from PG's 1997 book, Practical
Pricing (above right);
Three articles by PG: Competition
Personages and The Three
Little Partners (below right).
The video below fesatures Paddy Gormley's presentation, on the theme of pricing, to the International Bar Association 1998 conference in Dublin. The presentation is introduced by Michael Simmons.
POSSUM'S BOOK OF FAT CATS
During his ten years as a self-employed
management consultant, Paddy Gormley developed
a side-line as an after-dinner speaker. His numerous
articles and conference appearances, usually suffused with
mordant and mischievous good humour, led to invitations to
local law society dinners as guest speaker. He decided
to make use of his facility for rhyming verse by inventing Old
Possum's Book of Fat Cats, a putative research project
whereby PG claimed to have
found early drafts of well known poems with references to lawyers
that somehow failed to make it into first editions.
Shall I compare thee to an autumn
Thou art a windbag and intemperate.
Twelve guineas is a frightful price to pay
when thou hast failed th'agreed completion date.
How can a man so base and so incompetent
purport to be worth nine-sixteenths percent?
The International Bar Association video above (click here) includes Gullible's
Travails, Paddy Gormley's
withering adaptation of The Owl
and the Pussycat, in which he chided solicitors for
their irrational obsessions with hourly rate charging and
growth via mergers.
As Paddy Gormley's sons were growing
up in the 1990s, he began to think ahead to the day when they
must leave home to start their own lives, and wondered what
advice he might offer them. He quickly decided that "a
book [would be] so much better than us looking one another
in the eyes for hours on end", and set about writing one
Valiant Be is written from
the perspective of a man in his forties (and, later, fifties)
reflecting on how his life has been shaped by decisions made
in late teens and early twenties. Paddy Gormley was
determined that his sons must find their own way in life
and that he must not tell them what to do. Accordingly,
in Valiant Be, he merely
describes his own experiences in candid, self-critical terms,
in the hope that others may learn something from his mistakes.
Valiant Be comprises nine
chapters, dealing with subjects as diverse as integrity, friendship
and money. Paddy Gormley began writing it in 1996, and
completed it in ten years later, in his youngest son's eighteenth
year. Click on the player below right to hear a full
chapter of the book.
Valiant Be remains unpublished.
Paddy Gormley's late father, Patrick
Gormley, also known as Paddy, and uncle Tom
Gormley, both served as MPs in the Stormont parliament
(Northern Ireland) in the 1950s and 1960s. Paddy's career
was ended by a near fatal car accident in 1965, from which
he never fully recovered.
Tom Gormley's daughter Jennifer
asked the younger Paddy Gormley to provide a chapter for her "biopictography", The
Life and Times of Paddy Gormley (ISBN 09546144). Click
below right to hear Paddy Gormley's audio recording of the chapter,
a reflection on his late father's life from the perspective of
the library that Paddy senior accumulated in the later years
of his life.