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.
There is so much more to Nick Hewer than sitting at the right (or left) hand of Lord Sugar on the long-running TV series The Apprentice. For a start there is his association with Ireland. He went to school at Clongowes Wood College and would have gone on to Trinity College had his parents been able to afford the fees. His relationship with Sugar began in 1983 when he was taken on as the Amstrad boss’s PR consultant. When The Apprentice began he thought it might be a good idea to accept Sugar’s offer to take part in the show as an adviser. He did the job for ten years and then it was time to move on. Since 2012 he has been the presenter of the long-running Channel Four quiz show Countdown. Lord Sugar’s response to Nick’s autobiography My Alphabet: A Life From A To Z was: “I always knew he was quite creative, but I had no idea he was so reckless”. Nick will be in conversation with broadcaster Gerry Foley.
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.
For much of his working life as a journalist Frank McDonald was Environment Correspondent of the Irish Times, loved by readers, both respected and feared by politicians, while often loathed by the kind of developers who seemed to believe the rules did not apply to them. His anger at the fate of Dublin’s finest architecture, especially its historic Georgian infrastructure, propelled him to write The Destruction of Dublin in 1985, a muck-raking book about rampant, valuefree development that benefited the well-heeled and the well-connected. In his most recent book Truly Frank: A Dublin Memoir we see the public and the private Frank McDonald, in a world of student politics, the early Dublin gay scene, campaigning journalism and personal activism.
‘Seán Hartnett’ (not his real name), who appeared ‘remotely’ at last year’s festival, left the British army in 2005 after operating as a covert surveillance technician for a top-secret counter-terrorism unit in Northern Ireland. His experiences were the makings of the bestselling Charlie One, the book the British Ministry of Defence tried to ban. After leaving the army ‘Seán’ put his talents to productive use in civilian life just as the Celtic Tiger was about to implode. Client Confidential is his exposé of the clandestine activities that foreshadowed the worst financial crash in the history of the Irish state. ‘Hartnett’ was called in to carry out covert and counter surveillance for blue chip companies, semi-state bodies, national sporting associations and convicted criminals. In Client Confidential he lifts the lid on the worst excesses of the Celtic Tiger, the corporate greed, corruption and ineptitude and the dark secrets that were never meant to see the light of day. ‘Seán’ will be in conversation with Myles Dungan.
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.
Venue: The Courthouse - Meath County Council Stage
In his astonishing award-winning memoir The Speckled People, Hugo Hamilton attempted to come to terms with familial oppression and dysfunction, a sense of dislocation, and the perils of multilingualism (English, German, Irish). In his latest novel, Dublin Palms, he returns to those themes in fictional form. The central character of his new novel finds himself grappling with the limits of language when he returns to Dublin from Berlin to set up home with his partner Helen and their two children. Hugo Hamilton is the author of nine novels, two memoirs and a collection of short stories. His work has won numerous national and international prizes, including the 1992 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and the 2003 French Prix Femina Étranger.