Hinterland Festival 2019 Programme & Tickets

Tickets for events can be purchased in advance online below or by phone via the Box Office on 089 436 9868.

Tickets are also available in advance in Kells from the BOOK MARKet Café (11am-3pm Tuesday to Saturday) and in Trim from Antonia’s Bookstore (tel – 046 943 7532).

During the festival, ticket collection and sales are available at the ticket office in Kells Theatre on Kenlis Place. For further information on visiting Kells and the Festival, please call 089 436 9868.

You can also see a schedule view of the programme here.

Politics

Former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams will read from Never Give Up, a compilation of essays and articles written since 2009, it opens with a tribute to his close friend and political ally, the late Martin McGuinness.

Nick Davies is one of the Guardian’s premier investigative journalists and in 2010 it was his work that led to one of the most egregious scandals ever to visit the world of tabloid journalism, the ‘phone hacking’ controversy which led directly to the closure of the News of the World and the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry.

Ralph Riegel, one of Ireland’s best known journalists has teamed up with Tracy Corbett Lynch to highlight the sordid story of the murder of Tracy’s brother Jason Corbett—at the hands of his wife, Molly Martens, and father in law Thomas.

In 1984 Mary Manning was a Dunne’s Stores employee who obeyed the instructions of her union and refused to process the sale of South African oranges. After she was fired a number of her colleagues came out in support and thus began the longest ‘political’ strike in modern Irish history. Striking Back is Mary Manning’s memoir of that period and of much more.  She will be joined by co-author Sinead O’Brien.

David Murphy, RTE Business correspondent, will be looking at the implications of Brexit for Ireland as we inch ever closer to exit of the UK from the European Union in March 2019.

Former RTE Washington Correspondent, Caitriona Perry, author of In America: Tales from Trump Country, will be reflecting on the increasingly bizarre nature of American politics and discourse since the election of Donald Trump.

To mark the 20thanniversary of the Omagh bombing Hinterland will present our own production of Ross Dungan’s Minute After Midday, with the author in attendance to discuss the play.

As outlined above ‘Sean Hartnett’ will join us to discuss his involvement in British military surveillance activities in Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’.

Kingsley Donaldson, a former British Army officer, will probably have plenty to say about Brexit and ‘frictionless borders’ but his primary concern at the moment is what the future might look like from a security perspective, this is what he has explored in 2020:World of War.  

Former government Minister Mary O’Rourke returns to finish off what she started last year when she kept her audience enthralled reading from Letters of My Life. No one had had enough at the end, least of all Mary, so we invited her back straight away.

David McCullagh

De Valera: Rule 1932–1975

Event  4 
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
Broadcaster and historian Dr David McCullagh is probably best known as a presenter of Prime Time on RTÉ 1 TV, and as former RTÉ Political Correspondent. David is also an accomplished historian and is biographer of former Taoiseach John A. Costello (The Reluctant Taoiseach, 2010). In 2017 he produced the first of a two-part biography of Eamon de Valera covering the years 1882–1932 (De Valera: Rise) and followed that up last year with De Valera: Rule 1932–1975. He returns to Hinterland to examine the controversial career in power of our most enigmatic of leaders.
Price €8.00
 
 
David McCullagh

Lindie Naughton

Countess Markievicz: The Life and the Letters

Event  12 
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
She was the first woman elected to the House of Commons as an MP (though she never took her seat) and the first female member of an Irish cabinet (and if you don’t think that was significant, the second one was appointed in…1979!) She was a leading member of the Irish Citizen’s Army, spent more time in jail than Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins put together, and has been dividing historians ever since. In two volumes of history, Markievicz: A Most Outrageous Rebel and Markievicz: Prison Letters and Rebel Writings, journalist Lindie Naughton recovers the Countess from the realms of polemic, and offers a rounded portrait of one of the most celebrated women in modern Irish history.
Price €6.00
 
 
Lindie Naughton

Martina Fitzgerald

Women in Irish Politics

Event  17 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
In her book Madam Politician, Martina Fitzgerald, former RTÉ Political Correspondent – and native of Kilskyre, Co. Meath – writes about the progress (or lack thereof) that female politicians have made since the foundation of the state in 1922. Martina interviewed two former Presidents, Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese, as well as the 17 surviving women who served as Ministers, including Máire Geoghegan Quinn, Nora Owen, Gemma Hussey, Mary O’Rourke, Niamh Breathnach, Mary Harney, Regina Doherty, Heather Humphreys and Josepha Madigan. They reveal the challenges they faced to ensure their voices were heard at party meetings, across the floor of Leinster House, or, even more crucially, at cabinet meetings.
Price €10.00
 
 
Martina Fitzgerald

Fintan O’Toole

Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain

Event  22 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
There’s a line in the theme song for the old black and white Robin Hood TV series which goes: “feared by the bad, loved by the good”. It might well be applied to the intrepid journalism of Fintan O’Toole in the Irish Times. His writing is coolly cerebral, rigorously analytical and abrasively engaged. The range and scope of his writing is also startling. He is critic, historian, controversialist and intellectual. He is as capable of writing a monograph on Richard Brinsley Sheridan or George Bernard Shaw as he is of eviscerating the corrupt cowboys of the Celtic Tiger. Latterly his attention has shifted to John Bull’s original island and British (English?) attempts to sever their connection with the European Union. In Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain no charlatan goes unpunished.
Price €10.00
 
 
Fintan O’Toole

Paul Mason

A Radical Defence of the Human Being

Event  27 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
As a TV journalist, author and public intellectual Paul Mason’s voice has offered both rigorous analysis and hope for a more equitable future. His 2015 work PostCapitalism was hailed by Naomi Klein as “an original, engaging, and bracinglyarticulated vision of real alternatives”. His latest work, the forward-thinking Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being recognises the multiple threats of the rise of authoritarian politics; the destruction of verifiable truth; the onset of Artificial Intelligence; and the sense of fatalism which has left millions susceptible to the mythologies of the new right. Paul will be familiar to TV viewers for his work as Economics Editor on BBC2’s Newsnight and Channel Four News since 2001. He will be in conversation with Myles Dungan.
Price €10.00
 
 
Paul Mason

Lynn Ruane

A Seanad Radical

Event  28 
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
Join Lynn Ruane for an in-conversation event about her powerful, award-winning memoir People Like Me. Lynn is a social activist and politician who has served as a member of Seanad Éireann since April 2016. Independent of party affiliation, she is a prominent advocate of numerous progressive causes, including the reform and modernisation of Ireland’s drug treatment and counselling infrastructure, universal access to education, women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and has two daughters. Lynn will be in conversation with broadcaster Deirdre Hurley.
Price €8.00
 
 
Lynn Ruane

The Brexit Debate

Event  36 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
At the time of going to press no one has a blind notion where this one is heading. So, this event is a bit like the annual ‘Surprise Movie’ at the Dublin Film Festival. The discussion could be about an EU without the UK, and how the UK will fare as a ‘third country’. Or it could be about how (or if) the UK is going to extricate itself from the European Union. One political reputation has been hugely enhanced by what has largely been a shambles, and the owner of that reputation, Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee joins us for the debate. Also taking part will be journalist, author and commentator Paul Mason, veteran of many a BBC Newsnight panel discussion on Brexit, and RTE Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan. The debate will be moderated by Myles Dungan.
Price €8.00
 
 

Chris Mullin

Following up A Very British Coup

Event  42 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
Proud holder, for a brief reign, of the Sun newspaper’s ‘Most Odious Man in Britain’ title (he snatched it from Ken Livingstone), Chris Mullin, through his work on behalf of the Birmingham Six, was one of the best-known British MPs in this country. He was elected to Parliament for Sunderland South in 1987 and remained in the House of Commons until 2010. Chris, in addition to his talents as a politician (he was a Labour minister) and a journalist (for, among others, Granada TV) is also the author of one of the best political novels of the last forty years, A Very British Coup, the TV version of which starred Ray McAnally as a leftwing Labour Prime Minister, Harry Perkins, deposed by the Tory establishment. He has now written the long-awaited sequel The Friends of Harry Perkins. Set in the near future, it has already been described as “the definitive post-Brexit thriller”.
Price €10.00
 
 
Chris Mullin

Robbyn Swan

Stable Geniuses? The Mental States of Nixon and Trump

Event  43 
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
Robbyn Swan is co-author, with her husband Anthony Summers, of five non-fiction works. The Eleventh Day, on the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History and won the prestigious Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction. They and their book Looking for Madeleine feature in the landmark Netflix series The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. In The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon, Summers and Swan exposed the cynical manipulation of the 1968 Vietnam peace talks that eased Nixon’s path to the Presidency. Nixon has often been described as an ‘evil genius’, while Donald Trump is a self-styled ‘stable genius’. Having revealed Nixon’s White House-era abuse of alcohol and drugs, as well as his hidden dependence on a psychotherapist, Robbyn is well placed to compare the two leaders.
Price €8.00
 
 
Robbyn Swan

Alan Shatter

Event  44 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
Alan Shatter served as a TD for more than 30 years. For three of those years, as Minister for Justice and Defence (2011–2014), he introduced a wide range of reforms. These included the creation of citizenship ceremonies and an Act criminalising the failure to report child sexual abuse. He was wrongly vilified, condemned and forced to resign from government in May 2014; in his book Frenzy & Betrayal, recently published by Merrion Press, he tells the extraordinary story of his lonely and successful five-year fight for justice and truth. In offering an unprecedented insight into the dysfunctional world of Irish politics and its problematic relationship with the media he takes few prisoners. He will be in conversation with Myles Dungan.
Price €10.00
 
 
Alan Shatter

Luke Harding

Collusion: How Russia Helped Donald Trump Become President

Event  47 
Venue: Church of Ireland – Merriebelle Farm Stage
Luke Harding became the Guardian Moscow correspondent in 2007. When attempting to return from the UK to his bureau in Moscow in 2011, he was refused re-entry to Russia and was deported. He is author of The Snowden Files and A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin’s War With the West. In Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win – which spent a number of weeks as New York Times No.1 bestseller – Harding lays out the story behind the Christopher Steele dossier, which entered the twilight region of the public domain shortly after the 2016 election of Donald Trump to the White House. He lays bare the Trump/Russia story and exposes some of the dubious characters with whom the President seems to surround himself. According to Nation magazine, “Harding…presents a powerful case for Russian interference” (no matter what Robert Mueller says!). He will be in conversation with Myles Dungan.
Price €10.00
 
 
Luke Harding