RTE Foreign Editor
Last book you read?
Beijing Coma, a fictionalised account of the events on Tiananmen Square in 1989 through the eyes of a young man in a coma because he was shot in the head. Banned in China, it's a dramatic record of an extraordinary period of hope and chaos.
My family would say a guidebook or novel set in whatever place she is travelling to next! A Suitable Boy was wonderful, though it was very hard to keep track of all the characters.
Recently I really liked Once, particularly as I watched it in China on the advice of our Chinese fixer who had bought a bootleg DVD on the street and loved it. The one I know off by heart is Casablanca.
Michael Flaherty, a painter based in West Kerry who paints amazing seascapes of places I love. Internationally, it would have to be Matisse -- all that colour and passion.
Sean O'Rourke of the News at One, manages to be tough but human, and sometimes very funny.
Favourite piece of music?
Pretty much any salsa cubana -- it's completely addictive.
Favourite country to visit?
India: the variety, the culture, the colours, the food. And you can have great conversations on Indian trains.
Favourite TV show?
Anything with Stephen Fry, I was addicted to QI at one stage.
Fresh seafood within sight of the sea, although after a week in rural China all I want is a plate of mashed potato.
Marlborough Sauvignon blanc.
Biggest influence in your professional life?
Ordinary people that I've met in extraordinary circumstances from Rwanda to the Chinese earthquake. The human spirit is incredibly resilient.
Margaret Ward was appointed China correspondent and set up RTE's Beijing bureau last year