Star-studded lineup for Limerick literary festival

(l-r) Eileen O'Connor, Marie Hackett, Vivien McKechnie, Deirdre FLynn, Sheila Deegan and Ann Marie Gill, Limerick Literary Festival committee; present but absent from the photo is Cáit Ní Chealleacháin

by Daragh Frawley

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INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed writers such as Louis de Bernières, Tim Pat Coogan, Claire Keegan and Kevin Myers feature in the impressive line-up for  this year’s Limerick Literary Festival.

Now in its 32nd year, the festival, formerly known as the Kate O’Brien weekend is held in honour of the life and works of the Limerick-born novelist and playwright, with this year’s theme of ‘Rebellion’ marking the centenary of the Easter Rising.

Taking place from February 26-28, it will feature author visits, readings, lectures and panel discussions at various venues around the city, including The Belltable, Limerick City Gallery of Art, the City Library and The Lime Tree Theatre, with the annual Kate O’Brien award being presented to the best novel or short story collection by a debut Irish female writer.

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Limerick Arts Officer and Festival Committee member Sheila Deegan said the event seeks to promote Limerick as a place of literary excellence and to provide a platform where readers can meet their favourite authors.

The expansive literary programme includes Louis de Bernières, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Donal Ryan, Booker prize nominee; Claire Keegan, award-winning short story writer; Tim Pat Coogan, the well known historical writer and Judi Curtin, the bestselling author of 22 books for children and adults.

Other contributors to the three-day festival include Niall McMonagle, poet and editor of ‘Poetry Now’; Dr. Tom Clonan, lecturer in DIT’s School of Media and author of ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ and Pauline Bewick, one of Ireland’s most acclaimed artists.

The Festival will officially be launched by broadcaster and journalist Kevin Myers on Friday, February 26 at 6pm in the Limerick City Gallery of Art. This will be followed by the ‘As Music and Splendour’ recital, featuring internationally renowned soprano Claudia Boyle, accompanied by pianist Mairéad Hurley.

Weekend passes are €125, with individual events being priced between €12-€15. Full details at