Programme & Tickets

We're pleased to announce our programme. Buy tickets here, or from the The Book MARKet Café in Kells (tel 085 889 6352) or Antonia's Bookstore in Trim (tel 046 943 7532). You can view a copy of the printed programme here.

The Brexit Debate

Event  23 
Venue: Church of Ireland - Merriebelle Farm Stage
The stunning British EU referendum vote came right in the middle of last year’s festival. A year on, with Article 50 having been triggered, we will be assessing the possible future for this country, Britain and the European Union, with former Labour MP and government minister Chris Mullin, RTÉ Business Editor David Murphy and First Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness. Chaired by Myles Dungan.
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The Brexit Debate

Matt Dickinson

Event  24 
Venue: Presbyterian Church – Bord Na Móna Stage
Matt Dickinson, who has successfully climbed Mount Everest, filming as he went, and lived to tell the tale of the catastrophic climbing season of 1996, is author of the teenage/young adult series The Everest Files, a thrilling journey to the dark side of Everest. He is also author of the Mortal Chaos series and his latest book, teen thriller Lie Kill Walk Away. Matt will read from his books and if we’re lucky tell us about his real life adventures. Perfect for young adult fans of adventure/thriller books and aspiring writers and adventurers.

Young Adult event

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Matt Dickinson

Meet Fairy Lauren: The Irish Fairy Door

Event  25 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
Go on an imaginative and fun adventure with Fairy Lauren. Travel to Fairy Valley in a magical fairy parachute, do a fairy dance to meet our friend Fauna the Unicorn, pop bubbles that lazy fairies travel in and make fairy wishes!
4+ years
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Annmarie O’Connor

Event  26 
Venue: Heritage Centre – Meath County Council Stage
Annmarie O’Connor is an award-winning fashion writer, stylist and bestselling author of two selfhelp books. The Happy Closet is a selfhelp guide to balancing well-being and being well-dressed, and The Happy Medium aims to help readers navigate choice, make better decisions and swap the weight of ‘having it all’ for having more with less. Annmarie is a self-styled inexpert expert on the subject of mindfulness.
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Deirdre Purcell

Event  27 
Venue: Church of Ireland - Merriebelle Farm Stage
Since her first novel A Place of Stones (1991) Deirdre Purcell has been acknowledged as one of the country’s finest writers. Prior to becoming a novelist, Deirdre had a successful career in radio, TV and print, working as a broadcast journalist and newsreader for RTÉ while writing for the Irish Press and the Sunday Tribune. She acted as a member of the Abbey Theatre company for three years, debuting as Christine Lambert in Drama at Inish opposite the great Donal McCann as Eddie Twohig, then going to Loyola University as its first ‘European Theatre Artist.’ So her many ‘lives’ have contributed greatly to her fiction. As, no doubt, does her regular broadcasting ‘gig’ poring over the daily newspapers for the Morning Ireland ‘It says in the papers’ slot. Her most recent novel, The Husband, was published in late 2016. She is also the author of a biography of Father Aengus Finucance, the founder of the development aid organisation Concern Worldwide.
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Deirdre Purcell

Edward Thomas

Event  28 
Venue: Presbyterian Church – Bord Na Móna Stage
Ed Thomas is Creative Director and Executive Producer at Fiction Factory. He is a writer, director, producer, playwright and co-creator of the hit Welsh police drama Y Gwyll/Hinterland. The gritty, gothic offering, in the dark vein of the Nordic Noir phenomenon, has enjoyed huge success globally and his work has been widely distributed in over 80 countries. He has written, directed or produced more than 150 hours of award-winning drama and been translated into 10 languages.
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Edward Thomas

Natasha Mac A’Bháird

Event  29 
Venue: Iona Hall
Do your kids love drama? The stage kind, that is! Natasha Mac A’Bháird, author of the Star Club series, will host a talk on Hannah in the Spotlight and Starring Meg. Budding performers will love hearing about this group of friends who set up their own drama club.
10+ years
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Natasha Mac A’Bháird

Paddy Armstrong

Event  30 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
Paddy Armstrong of The Guildford Four in discussion about his critically acclaimed, bestselling memoir, Life After Life, which details how he came to be falsely convicted of the Guildford bombing and the fifteen years he spent in prison for a crime he did not commit, as well as the aftermath of those years and how the love of his family and the power of forgiveness allowed him to come to terms with the injustice done to him. He will be joined by ghost writer Mary-Elaine Tynan. They talk to Myles Dungan.
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Paddy Armstrong

Peter Fallon, Oisin Leech & Saramai Leech

Event  31 
Venue: Church of Ireland - Merriebelle Farm Stage
After the success of last year’s event, another intimate interlude of songs, readings and talk with three acclaimed artists from County Meath. As one of The Lost Brothers, Oisin Leech from Navan has played Glastonbury, the Electric Picnic and SXSW. At Hinterland he’ll sing solo and with his sister, Saramai, another exceptional singer/ songwriter who, thanks to a recent EP and appearances at Other Voices and other venues, is a growing force. Joining Oisin and Saramai to read his poetry and stimulate a conversation is award-winning poet and publisher Peter Fallon, the success of whose work has brought him around the world and who, in the words of the Sunday Times, is ‘one of Ireland’s greatest literary talents’.
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Peter Fallon, Oisin Leech & Saramai Leech

Matt Dickinson and the Everest ‘Death Zone’

Event  32 
Venue: Presbyterian Church – Bord Na Móna Stage
Matt Dickinson is a writer and film-maker. An awardwinning novelist, he has made numerous films for the BBC, National Geographic Television and the Discovery Channel. Matt had the personal misfortune but the journalistic good fortune to be present on Mount Everest in May 1996 at the time of the worst single night for fatalities in the history of the highest mountain in the world. His account of his own successful attempt on Everest via the North Face is given in his 1997 book The Death Zone: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm. Matt will give an illustrated lecture of his experiences as a mountaineer and documentary-maker on Everest.
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Matt Dickinson and the Everest ‘Death Zone’

Oisin McGann

Event  33 
Venue: Iona Hall
Oisín is an award-winning writer and illustrator. He has written and illustrated books for every age group from young children to young adult, which have been translated into many languages around the world. Oisín joins us at Hinterland to read from his enormously popular Mad Grandad series and tell us where he gets his ideas from. We’re hoping he might draw us a picture of Mad Grandad too!
6+ years
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Oisin McGann

Paul Howard

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

Event  34 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
Heir to the Guinness fortune and London socialite Tara Browne, older brother of Garech Browne, in the words of John Lennon, ‘blew his mind out in a car/he never noticed that the lights had changed’. One of the stalwarts of 1960s London counterculture, he crashed his car at high speed in 1966 and died. He was immortalised in the Beatles’ song ‘A Day in the Life’ and his short and eventful life has now been captured by Paul Howard in the biography I Read the News Today, Oh Boy. Paul talks to radio presenter and bona fide rock star Tom Dunne (Something Happens).
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Paul Howard

Dermot Bolger

Event  35 
Venue: Church of Ireland - Merriebelle Farm Stage
The poet, novelist and playwright Dermot Bolger (whose latest novels are Tanglewood and The Lonely Sea and Sky and whose adaptation of Joyce’s Ulysses will be staged by the Abbey Theatre this autumn) has long been a champion and admirer of the work of Francis Ledwidge. He is the editor of the recently republished Francis Ledwidge: Selected Poems, for which he also wrote a lengthy personal afterword describing the influence of Ledwidge on his own life and work. His play Walking the Road is a reimagining of Ledwidge’s life. Dermot will talk about the short life and poetry of the Meath-born Great War casualty a few weeks before the centenary of his death.
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Dermot Bolger

Tom Dunne

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Event  36 
Venue: Presbyterian Church – Bord Na Móna Stage
Tom Dunne has been front man with the Irish rock band Something Happens for (ahem!) almost thirty years now. He likes to refer to them as ‘the band that forgot to break up’. He has also been a radio presenter for the better part of two decades, probably still best known for his seminal Pet Sounds programme on Today FM. He will be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the recording of ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ with a presentation which may, or may not, get around to comparisons with the Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’.
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Tom Dunne

Ryan Tubridy and PJ Lynch

Event  37 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born one hundred years ago this May. When he visited Ireland in 1963, he described it as the best four days of his life. Patrick and the President, written by RTÉ broadcaster Ryan Tubridy (JFK in Ireland, The Irish Are Coming) and illustrated by Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch (The Boy Who Fell off the Mayflower), tells the story of that visit from the perspective of a young boy named Patrick who wants to know more than anything what it would feel like to shake the president’s hand. Ryan and PJ will talk about their collaboration on the book.
7+ years
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Ryan Tubridy and PJ Lynch

Mary O’Rourke

Event  38 
Venue: Church of Ireland - Merriebelle Farm Stage
Mary O’Rourke, former minister, deputy leader of her party and leader of the Seanad, looks back over her life in her latest book Letters From My Life, which is made up of 20 letters to people who have made an impression on her. Many of the letters concern the political career which once consumed Mary, but there are also moving letters about her deepest losses in life and how she emerged from them, with inspiring words on how life has flourished and renewed itself once again in her later years. Mary joins us at Hinterland to tell us the stories behind some of these letters.
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Mary O’Rourke

Deirdre Sullivan and Catherine Doyle

Event  39 
Venue: Presbyterian Church – Bord Na Móna Stage
Teen fiction authors Deirdre Sullivan,author of the Prim Series (Prim Improper, Improper Order and Primperfect) & Needlework and Catherine Doyle, author of the Blood on Blood series (Vendetta, Inferno, Mafioso), join us to talk about their work. This is a great opportunity to hear two great authors talk about their books, where their ideas come from, their writing methods and much more. Perfect for fans of teen fiction and aspiring writers alike.
13+ years
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Stephen Frears

Event  40 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
His films are legendary the world over, spanning four decades and multi-award-winning for both the big screen and television: My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, The Queen, Philomena and Florence Foster Jenkins are shining examples. Named as one of the most influential people in British culture and soon to release his latest film Victoria and Abdul starring Judi Dench and Eddie Izzard, BAFTA award-winner Stephen talks about his life and works with Georgina Godwin.
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Stephen Frears

Donncha Ó Dúlaing

Event  41 
Venue: Presbyterian Church – Bord Na Móna Stage
The broadcasting legend will discuss his life and career, which spanned 50 years and during which he has conducted memorable interviews with state leaders and international celebrities such as Gene Kelly, Mick Jagger, John Steinbeck, Maureen O’Hara and Pope John Paul II. His fame as a broadcaster is equalled by his fame as a walker for charity over thousands of kilometres in many countries. As a walker, Donncha has led thousands of people throughout the 32 counties of Ireland and across London, Paris, Jerusalem, Argentina and the USA and in the process has raised millions for various charities.
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Donncha Ó Dúlaing

Paul Howard

Ross O’Carroll Kelly and his times

Event  42 
Venue: Kells Theatre - Eirgrid Stage
One of the great ‘what ifs’ of Irish sport will undoubtedly be aired when Paul Howard will be forced to answer the question, ‘what if Ross O’Carroll Kelly had not been such a total, like, plonker?’ Would the consensus still be that BOD was the, like, greatest ever Irish rugby player … like? Or maybe not. Either way Paul will be reading from the intimate diaries and memoirs of one of the greatest goys ever to don the Castlerock College jersey.
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Paul Howard
For full information on Lit Crawl events (Sunday 25 June 4.00-8.30) go to the Lit Crawl Kells page on the Litquake (San Francisco) website and view Sched