Hinterland Festival 2021

Fáilte go dtí an cúigú feile Hinterland. Buíochas as teacht agus páirt a glacadh san ocáid agus comhluadar seo.

Welcome back to an unusual Hinterland Festival, but one not as out of the ordinary as the 2020 version. We have moved back from the pandemic-stricken online festival of 2020 to an ‘in person’ event this year. Not a total return to normality but a step in the right direction. This year we have our usual mix of literature, history, music, drama, magic and craic. We’ll be highlighting the music of David Bowie, staging a couple of ambitious theatre projects, meeting some of the hottest new Irish authors as well as some old friends and reflecting on the surreality of the last eighteen months.

Bí pairteach linn, le do thoil.

Hinterland Festival Team

Put next year’s dates in your diary: 23-26 June 2022.

All events are fifty-five minutes in duration and all venues are within a few minute’s walk of each other. 

The Eirgrid Stage is located in the Kells Theatre on Kenlis Place (St Vincent de Paul Hall). The Merriebelle Irish Farm, O'Brien's Supervalu, Meath County Council Stages and Eureka House are all located in the grounds of the old Eureka Convent secondary school on the Navan Road, opposite the Heritage Centre.

You can also find a host of other things to do during the Festival here.

Liam McNiffe

Irish Travellers: Parallel History?

Event  1 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage

One out of every 150 Irish people is a Traveller. The history of this ethnic minority is very different to that of the ‘Country’ (settled) community. Meath-based historian Liam McNiffe attempts to dispel some of the myths, while elaborating on the changing relationship between Travellers and the ‘Country’ people since the Famine.

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Liam McNiffe

Colmcille 1500

How many cows did it take to make the Book of Kells?

Event  2 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage
This year sees the celebration of the 1500th anniversary of the birth of St Colmcille (Columba), one of Ireland’s three patron saints. And where better to do so than in Kells, the site of a Columban church intimately associated with one of Western Europe’s most famous medieval manuscripts — the Book of Kells. Hinterland is collaborating with Colmcille 1500 as Dr Denis Casey of Maynooth University asks the enigmatic question ‘How many cows did it take to make the Book of Kells?’
Free Event but tickets required
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Colmcille 1500

Angela Keogh

1348: Journal of a Plague Year

Event  3 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage

As our current ‘plague year’ continues with exciting new variants, Angela Keogh, author of  ‘plague novel’ The Winter Dress - which was short listed for last year’s Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair (2020) - offers a detailed account of the history of the Black Death in Ireland. The bubonic plague arrived in the country in 1348 while in the process of killing half the population of Europe. It had a similarly devastating effect on Ireland.

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Angela Keogh

Myles Dungan

Four Killings: Land Hunger, Murder and Family in the Irish Revolution

Event  4 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage

Between 1915 and 1921 members of Myles Dungan’s extended family were involved in four murders. One took place in the American ‘Wild West’, the other three happened in County Meath during the Irish War of Independence. The latter deaths were symptomatic of the land hunger, paranoia and vindictiveness of the revolutionary era. The story of these deaths is narrated in the bestselling book, Four Killings: Land Hunger, Murder and Family in the Irish Revolution.

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Myles Dungan

Sheila Killian

Fighting the Klan

Event  5 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Sheila Killian talks about the historical narrative behind her debut first novel. Something Bigger centres on an incident in Irish-American history in which an Irish brother and sister found themselves in conflict with the KKK in Alabama, 100 years ago. Sheila Killian’s granduncle was a priest, Fr. Jimmy Coyle, and is one of only two white Irish people commemorated in the Civil Rights Museum at Birmingham, Alabama. The other Irish-American– on the opposite side of history – is the infamous Bull Connor, who was the racist Birmingham police chief during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Jimmy Coyle was progressive and outspoken on issues of equality, and paid the ultimate price.
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Sheila Killian

Cecelia Hartsell

The Road to Black Lives Matter: A history of Systemic Racism in the United States

Event  6 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Through a reading of historical events from the colonial era to the present, this talk, by Irish-based American academic Cecelia Hartsell, will analyse the history of the social construct of race, the intersection of class and race, and the tension between history and public memory, as components of systemic racism in the U.S.
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Cecelia Hartsell

Catriona Crowe

Irish Mother and Baby Homes

Event  7 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage
No Irish historian has a more intimate knowledge of the shocking and tragic narrative of these institutions, and more insight into the current controversy over the final report of the Commission of Investigation, than does former National Archives curator and archivist Catriona Crowe. Her recent article on the subject for the Dublin Review has been extensively cited and reproduced in the recent public debate on the shameful treatment, then and now, of hundreds of Irish women and their infant children.
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Catriona Crowe

Diarmaid Ferriter

Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War

Event  8 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage
As we approach a centenary that is likely to prove more problematic than the commemoration of the Decade of Revolution thus far, drawing on a wide range of new sources Ireland’s most celebrated public historian, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, shows how important our tragic Civil War was for arriving at an understanding of Ireland today.
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Diarmaid Ferriter

Matthew Spangler and Cauvery Madhavan

Adapting The Tainted

Event  9 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage
In the first of his annual and much-loved sessions, American playwright Matthew Spangler is joined by Indian-born author Cauvery Madhavan to talk about how he might go about adapting for the stage her recent novel of colonial India. The playwright and novelist will be meeting for the first time, and have never discussed their ideas for an adaptation until now.
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Fiona Sherlock

Crime Writing workshop with Fiona Sherlock

Event  10 
Venue: Merriebelle Irish Farm Stage
Can’t pass an episode of Murder, She Wrote without second-guessing Jessica Fletcher? Think of yourself as a better detective than Poirot? Perhaps you’ve just started reading murder mysteries, with The Thursday Murder Club or Lucy Foley? Maybe you’ve escaped lockdown down the warren of murder weapons, alibis and motives. In this workshop, crime writer Fiona Sherlock will help participants craft their first murder mystery story and provide a toolkit for avid readers of the genre.
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Fiona Sherlock

Roisín and Ann Ingle

The Inglenook

Event  11 
Venue: O’Brien’s Supervalu Stage
Debut memoirist Ann Ingle and Irish Times columnist Roisín Ingle, discuss the art of putting your life on the page. Roisín has shared her’s with thousands of enthralled readers in her weekly Irish Times columns, her mother Ann has now done the same with her soon to be published memoir Openhearted. (In case you’re wondering Inglenook was the name of their house in Sandymount!)
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Roisín and Ann Ingle

Alice in Wonderland - A Treasure Hunt

Event  Y1 
Venue: Check-in at Eureka House
In the year of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s second Alice adventure Alice, Through the Looking Glass -  featuring such memorable characters as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the poems ‘Jabberwocky’ and ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ as well as the enchanting drawings of John Tenniel - Hinterland brings Alice to the streets and the shop windows of Kells for a magical treasure hunt (with prizes at stake) for our younger audience members, accompanied by the young at heart.
Free but ticketed
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Alice in Wonderland - A Treasure Hunt

Cauvery Madhavan

Cauvery Madhavan reading from her work

Event  12 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage
The Irish-Indian author reads from The Tainted (set in India in 1920 and whose events encompass a fictionalised version of the Connaught Rangers mutiny), The Uncoupling and Paddy Indian, described by ‘Patsy Stone’ herself, Joanna Lumley, as ‘a life-affirming and touching comedy’.
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Cauvery Madhavan

Matthew Spangler and Louise Nealon

Adapting Snowflake

Event  13 
Venue: Merriebelle Irish Farm Stage
Playwright Matthew Spangler (The Kite Runner) will be joined onstage by debut bestselling author Louise Nealon to discuss how he would set about adapting her critically acclaimed and commercially successful breakthrough novel for a theatrical production. The playwright and novelist will be meeting for the first time, and have never discussed their ideas for an adaptation until now.
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Ann Ingle

Openhearted – Ann Ingle in conversation with Marian Keyes

Event  14 
Venue: O’Brien’s Supervalu Stage
At twenty years of age Londoner Ann Ingle fell madly in love with an Irish lad she met on holiday in Cornwall. At the church to arrange their shotgun wedding she discovered that he hadn't even told her his real name. Sixty-odd years later Ann looks back on what she has learned from the life that followed, even as she accepts the realities of being ‘old’.  Openhearted is Ann Ingle’s narrative of ‘eighty years of love, loss, laughter and letting go.’ Marian Keyes is a big fan and she will be in conversation with Ann.
This event has taken place
Ann Ingle

Alice in Wonderland - A Treasure Hunt

Event  Y2 
Venue: Check-in at Eureka House
In the year of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s second Alice adventure Alice, Through the Looking Glass -  featuring such memorable characters as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the poems ‘Jabberwocky’ and ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ as well as the enchanting drawings of John Tenniel - Hinterland brings Alice to the streets and the shop windows of Kells for a magical treasure hunt (with prizes at stake) for our younger audience members, accompanied by the young at heart.
Free but ticketed
This event has taken place
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Alice in Wonderland - A Treasure Hunt

Liz Nugent

In Conversation

Event  15 
Venue: Eirgrid Stage
Only Ireland’s ‘Queen of Crimewriting’, Liz Nugent could launch a book at the start of a pandemic and still manage to turn it into a bestseller. Our Little Cruelties came into the world at the least auspicious of moments but this characteristically brilliant narrative of familial betrayal and sibling rivalry was seized on by a locked-down book-buying public and Liz had yet another huge success on her hands. She will be in conversation with Deirdre Hurley.
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Liz Nugent

Tom Dunne

Bowie’s Hunky Dory – fifty years on

Event  16 
Venue: Merriebelle Irish Farm Stage
David Bowie’s 1971 album, Hunky Dory is frequently referred to as the album on which Bowie became the Bowie we know today, the album where he ‘staked his claim as the most altered ego in Rock and Roll.’ In the way that Beatles fans will name check Sgt Pepper but secretly prefer Abbey Road, it also many people’s all-time favourite Bowie album. So how did Bowie suddenly get it so right?  Find out in the latest of rocker (Something Happens) and broadcaster (Newstalk FM) Tom Dunne’s annual classic album series for Hinterland.
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Tom Dunne

Patrick Freyne

OK Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea: A Reading

Event  17 
Venue: O’Brien’s Supervalu Stage
Scarred by his military father’s decision to disguise a reconnaissance trip searching for an IRA training camp as a father and son bonding experience, Patrick Freyne gets some of his own back for this exercise in ‘child induced counter terrorism’ in his hilarious, best-selling book of essays, OK Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea. In fairness the jokes (and they are truly excellent) are mostly on Patrick himself as he musters his self-deprecating style in an assault on some of the less blindingly brilliant ideas he has come up with in the course of ‘a life less ordinary’.
This event has taken place
Patrick Freyne

Alice in Wonderland - A Treasure Hunt

Event  Y3 
Venue: Check-in at Eureka House
In the year of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s second Alice adventure Alice, Through the Looking Glass -  featuring such memorable characters as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the poems ‘Jabberwocky’ and ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ as well as the enchanting drawings of John Tenniel - Hinterland brings Alice to the streets and the shop windows of Kells for a magical treasure hunt (with prizes at stake) for our younger audience members, accompanied by the young at heart.
Free but ticketed
This event has taken place
Please log in to add this event to your wish list so we can notify you in case of further availability
Alice in Wonderland - A Treasure Hunt