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Don Conroy is an Irish artist, environmentalist, television personality and writer of children's literature. His artistic and literary work focuses on natural themes, including wildlife. He works for wildlife conservation in Ireland and made regular appearances on The Den since it began in 1986, becoming the longest continually serving member of the cast.

Don Conroy
Other names"Uncle Don", " The Don"
EducationLife drawings and culture at the National College of Art and Design
OccupationArtist, environmentalist, writer, television personality
Known forPreserving wildlife, his slots on The Den during which he would teach the children of Ireland how to draw

Early life and education

Don Conroy grew up in Donnybrook, Dublin, near Herbert Park. He has four siblings. He attended the Christian Brothers school in Stillorgan. He was encouraged by his mother and extended family to draw.[1] Conroy studied at the National College of Art and Design and then worked as designer and illustrator for advertising agencies as well as in the theatre.[2] He was in amateur dramatic productions with the Lantern Theatre and the Guinness Players, and was awarded a diploma from The Royal Irish Academy in Speech and Drama. He appeared as an extra in a number of films in the 1970s and 1980s,[1] including The Big Red One.[3]


Conroy made his first appearance on Irish television in 1982 on the Late Late Show, going on to present his own show, Paint For Fun.[2] From 1986 Conroy made regular appearances on The Den, becoming the longest continually serving member of the cast.[4] He has also appears publicly, at libraries, schools and elsewhere, where he entertains children with stories and drawings of various animals, in much the same capacity as his role on The Den. After The Den, Conroy hosted his own show again, The Art of Don. One of his favourite animals is the barn owl.[2][5] Conroy appeared at Electric Picnic giving art classes.[6] In 2020, Conroy restarted Draw with Don as a YouTube channel in response to the COVID-19 social restrictions in Ireland.[7]


Conroy played a part in the project to reintroduce the golden eagle to Ireland, was involved in establishing a sanctuary for whales and dolphins in Irish waters,[2] and other events highlighting issues relating to endangered animals and habitats such as World Curlew Day 2020.[8] He is an honorary member and patron of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council.[9]

Selected writing


Conroy has five children, and has a home in County Wexford, near Enniscorthy.[1]


  1. "Forever putting life into wildlife". Wexford People. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  2. Courtney, Kevin (7 May 2011). "Then & now Don Conroy, artist". The Irish Times. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  3. Freyne, Patrick (9 April 2020). "Don Conroy's Isolation Diary: 'Lee Marvin says, 'Hey, kid, I like you. You're not full of s***". The Irish Times. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  4. O’Keeffe, Donal (22 August 2019). "Art of the matter: Don Conroy on why he worries for Greta Thunberg". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  5. Thomas, Cónal (1 April 2020). "Don Conroy launches his new Youtube channel: 'People want their kids to experience what they did when they were young'". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  6. Lyne, Paula (10 August 2016). "Heads Up Nineties Kids, Don Conroy Will Be Giving Art Classes At Electric Picnic | Stellar". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  7. "Don Conroy launches 'Draw with Don' YouTube channel". RTÉ. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  8. "Minister Madigan launches World Curlew Day 2020 | Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht". 21 April 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  9. "About Us". Irish Peatland Conservation Council. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  10. "Ages 8-12". Don Conroy. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  11. "Ages 4-7". Don Conroy. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  12. "Ages 6-9". Don Conroy. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2020.

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