Born in 1958 at Curragh O’Dea, Miltown Malbay, James grew up in the family's ancestral home, looking across at Mount Callan, the highest mountain in Clare. From the age of 3 to 9 years, he spend most of this time at Marino Clinic in Bray, Co. Wicklow, learning to walk.
Subsequently James attended Cloonanaha National School where he first took an interest in the art of drawing. In 1975, he become involved in sport through the great Tom Malone with Clonboney GAA Club and this led to a lifetime of involvement with Clare Ladies Gaelic Football which has included every administrative and managerial position in an ongoing capacity since 1983.
However, in his personal life, there was a significant business downturn for James in October 2007 when he lost everything from his Book-keeping Business, a building company and found himself just holding on to the family home.
In desperation, he innocently became embroiled in a 419 fraud scam over a two year duration and duly hit rock bottom when attempting to go to Ghana to reclaim his money which resulted in him being kidknapped at gunpoint for six days. Such a harrowing ordeal was certainly a life-altering moment for James and after much introspection, he would eventually find hope and solace through the medium of art.
Twelve months on from that nightmarish experience, in November 2008 a family friend informed James about a local artist Vincent Killowry who gave weekly classes.
It turned out to be the perfect therapeutic pursuit and one which he has never looked back from since.
He is currently a member of the Irish Red Cross in Clare and is principally involved in fund raising. James also spends his time fundraising for other charities from time to time in the hope that he can benefit the good people of Clare.