Programme & Tickets

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

Tickets will also be 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.

Jimmy Geoghegan (Meath Chronicle)

‘All sports are local’: the life and times of a regional newspaper sportswriter

Event  1 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage
Jimmy Geoghegan is originally from Kildalkey—hurling country—although he played soccer himself.  He has written for a variety of publications including the Evening Herald and worked as a sub-editor with the Farmers' Journal before landing a job in 2002 as a sports reporter/features writer with the Meath Chronicle. He has been fortunate enough to interview a wide variety of sports stars including the likes of Jack Charlton (and therein lies a tale which we hope he will tell), Johnny Giles, and many GAA greats.
Price €6.00
 
 
Jimmy Geoghegan (Meath Chronicle)

Paul Rouse

‘How journalists created the GAA’

Event  2 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage
Paul Rouse is an academic, a sportsman and a writer. He is a director of the Century Ireland project and editor of historyhub.ie. Paul also played football for his home county of Offaly, and, in 2018, was given the (temporary) job of managing the county football team. He is Ireland’s foremost sports historian, with a number of books and articles to his credit, including The GAA, a People’s History with Mark Duncan and Mike Cronin. His most recent publication is The Hurlers: The First All Ireland Championship and the Making of Modern Hurling.
Price €6.00
 
 
Paul Rouse

Alan Gernon

Moving Stories: the inside track of the football transfer market

Event  3 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage

In 2016 Alan Gernon’s book Retired took a peek inside the world of the former professional footballer, and didn’t paint a pretty picture of life after retirement. Two years later Alan’s focus has switched to the world of the agent, deadline day and the instability of a footballer's life, in The Transfer Market: the Inside Stories. Here he explores the often dizzying movement of players between professional football clubs, and asks who benefits from these transactions. Spoiler alert, it’s often not the players!

In conversation with David Sheehan (LMFM)
Price €6.00
 
 
Alan Gernon

Rosemary Smith

Driven: the life and times of Rosemary Smith

Event  4 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage

Rosemary Smith is undoubtedly one of the icons of modern Irish sport. As a champion rally driver in the 1960s and 1970s she competed with her male counterparts .. and won. In 1965 she famously beat all comers, male and female, in the Tulip Rally in the Netherlands. She was a regular competitor in the Monte Carlo and the Circuit of Ireland rallies and also braved the tortuous London-Sydney marathon (7000 miles and 11 countries). She recently published an account of her racing life, Driven. The only question is why it took her so long to record such an extraordinary career. She still likes to drive fast!

In conversation with Myles Dungan
Price €10.00
 
 
Rosemary Smith

George Hamilton

‘The nation holds its breath’: four decades behind the microphone

Event  5 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage
George Hamilton has been the voice of RTE Sport since 1984. As a soccer commentator he is legendary (‘The nation holds its breath’ he whispered in 1990 as David O’Leary readied himself for a certain penalty against Romania in the World Cup) But George has also worked more Olympic games athletics commentary than he would care to remember and, among many other ‘markings’ covered the recent adventure of the Irish Women’s Hockey team in getting to the World Cup final. George will take us through the highs of a long and amazing career.
Price €10.00
 
 
George Hamilton

Chris Murphy

The Tailteann Aonach – The Irish Olympics!

Event  11 
Venue: The Sawmills Studio

Inspiring the theme of this festival, the Tailteann Aonach is still central to the Irish psyche, the inspiration behind our heroes' successes in the competitive fields of sports, the arts, and warfare throughout the ages. A Kells native, Chris Murphy has carried out extensive research on the rich history of the town and its local hinterland. The holder of a BA in Journalism and MSc in International Development, Chris has also spent many years among numerous diverse cultures, from the rural fishing communities of the Mekong River and the cattlemen of Rwanda. These experiences, combined with his study of the ancient Tailteann Aonach have helped him uncover the key role the fair’s myths and legends continue to play in Ireland’s cultural development to this very day; Teltown is the birthplace of our national identity.

Price €5.00
 
 
Chris Murphy

Rod Smith

Football; A Game of Diversity. A Game played in Adversity

Event  12 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage
Come and meet Rod Smith, children's author, as he discusses his experience of writing his "Get Out and Play" stories which encourage diversity and inclusion, and his journey to writing about the Great War where warring countries England and Germany stopped fighting for a day to play a game of football on Christmas day.
This fun and interactive session is suitable for children between 6 and 12 years old. Rod will have some spot prizes on the day for those who come along.
6-12 years
Free but ticketed
Price €0.00
 
 
Rod Smith

Sinead and Sam Lynch

‘What it takes to be a world champion’

Event  6 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage

As Olympic rowers, their appearances in their respective finals came at completely different times in their lives. Sam Lynch was barely out of his teens in Atlanta in 1996 when he rowed in the Lightweight Mens Four final in Atlanta and finished agonisingly out of the medals. Sinead Lynch was staring down the barrel of forty, and a mother of three, when she made her appearance in the 2016 Rio final of the Lightweight Womens Double sculls. Both, however, won World Championships in Lightweight Single Sculls in 2001, Sam added a second gold medal the following year.

In conversation with Myles Dungan
Price €6.00
 
 

Sarah Keane

‘Inspiring Women in Sport’

Event  7 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage

After an international sporting career in water polo Sarah Keane gave up her job as a solicitor to become the first CEO of Swim Ireland in 2004, during a difficult period for Irish swimming. In 2016 she took the reins of the Olympic Council of Ireland from its controversial former President, Pat Hickey after the Rio ticketing debacle? Sarah has capably steered the organisation (now the Olympic Federation of Ireland) into calmer waters since her appointment. Sarah has a particular passion for gender inclusivity in sport and is one of the motive forces behind Swim Ireland’s #WePlay: Inspiring Girls in Sport.

In conversation with Sinead Lynch

Price €8.00
 
 
Sarah Keane

Sarah O’Connor, Alison Stewart, Sinead Finnegan, Sarah Ennis

Panel - Women in Sport: Crossing the gain line?

Event  8 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage

Despite all the successes of our female sporting heroes it is still possible to pick up the eight page weekend sports supplement of one of our national newspapers and find not a single word written by a female journalist, or a single sentence covering a women’s sporting event! So, we ask the question, have women crossed the gain line in Irish sport?

Sarah O’Connor is Head of Sport at WHPR and is former Chief Executive of the Federation of Irish Sport (the representative association for Ireland sports governing bodies).

Alison Stewart is a rugby player who has been capped thirty six times for Ireland.

Sinead Finnegan is a Dublin footballer and holder of two All-Ireland winners medals.

Sarah Ennis is a horsewoman, a star in the world of eventing and a team silver medallist at the 2018 World Championships.

In conversation with Deirdre Hurley
Price €8.00
 
 

Colin Stewart

Riding the wave: the 2018 Hockey World Cup

Event  9 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage

Our rugby players have never done it. Neither have our soccer players. Male or female. But the summer of 2018 belonged to the Irish Women’s Hockey Team when dedication, team spirit, determination, consummate skill and that smattering of luck to which all good teams are entitled, brought them to the final of the Hockey World Cup. Joining us will be the side’s assistant coach, Colin Stewart.

In conversation with Olivia Duff
Price €6.00
 
 
Colin Stewart

Paul Kimmage

‘The joys of the ghost’: writing your own—and someone else’s— sporting biography

Event  10 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Creative Ireland Stage

Paul Kimmage is one of Ireland’s best known and most passionate sports journalists.

He is best known for his award-winning sporting autobiography Rough Ride, published in 1990, which laid bare the issue of drug-taking in the professional cycling peloton and won the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. In 2011 Paul’s collaboration with the tetraplegic English rugby player, Matt Hampson, Engage, won Paul a second William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. He will talk about ‘The joys of ghost writing’.

In conversation with Myles Dungan
Price €10.00
 
 
Paul Kimmage