Main Programme

Chris Agee is a poet and the Editor of The Irish Pages Press. He holds dual American and Irish citizenship, and has spent most of his adult life in Ireland. He recently worked with the filmmaker Johnny Gogan on a documentary about the Irish essayist Hubert Butler (1900–1990), entitled Witness to the Future, and launched in February 2016 at the Dublin International Film Festival. He has edited a sixth volume of Butler’s work, Balkan Essays, to be published by The Irish Pages Press in 2016.


Colin Barrett is from Mayo. His first collection of short stories, Young Skins, was published in 2013 and won The Guardian first book award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. His work has appeared in The Stinging Fly, Granta, The Irish Times and The New Yorker.




Brendan Barrington is the founder and editor of The Dublin Review, a quarterly magazine of essays, memoir, fiction, criticism, reportage and travel writing. He is also Senior Editor at Penguin Ireland.




Aideen Barry is a visual artist with a national and international profile, whose means of expression are interchangeable, incorporating performance, sculpture, film and lens-based media. Barry recently showed a survey solo show at Royal Hibernian Academy entitled Brittlefield and By Association at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. She is currently Artist in Residence at IMMA. The artist’s works are in permanent collections at the Arts Council of Ireland, Art Omi Collection (New York), NUIG, Galway, Mayo & Dublin Council collections, the OPW and at the Centre de Art Contemporary, Malaga ESP. Barry lectures at Limerick School of Art and Design, and lives in the west of Ireland.


Dr. Harry Barry is a medical doctor based in County Louth. He specialises in the area of mental health and, in particular, depression and anxiety. He is a director of Aware, and a regular contributor to national media on the subjects of mental health and suicide prevention. Dr Barry is the author of several bestselling books, including Flagging the Problem, Flagging Stress, Flagging the Therapy, Flagging Depression – A Practical Guide and co-author of Flagging the Screenager.


Cormac Battle has been part of the 2fm line up since 2003, before this he was a DJ on Phantom FM. He hosts his own weekly alternative music show straddling the cutting edge of Rock, Indie and Dance music with an emphasis on upcoming Irish Talent. Previous to joining RTÉ he was lead singer with the band Kerbdog who spent the 1990’s releasing and touring four albums for major label Mercury Records. In 2002 he graduated with a BA in Communications from DCU.


John Boorman is a filmmaker best known for his feature films Deliverance, Hope and Glory, The General, The Tailor of Panama and Queen and Country. He has been described by The Guardian as ‘arguably Britain’s greatest living director’ – though, as a long-time resident of County Wicklow, Ireland has a claim on him too. His many awards include two Best Director Awards at Cannes and five Oscar nominations – two as director, two as producer, and one as writer. In addition to several screenplays, he is the author of two volumes of memoir, Money into Light and Adventures of a Suburban Boy.


Audrey and Gregory Bracken, from County Kildare, are a brother and sister with a love of travel. They have published guides to London, New York, Paris, Bangkok (a bestseller), Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Singapore and others. Gregory has a PhD in architecture and is Assistant Professor at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. Audrey has a BA in English Literature and Classics, and after a career in publishing and marketing in London and New York, recently returned to live in Dublin with her two children.


Colm Breathnach is a poet, novelist and translator. He has published seven collections of poetry, along with a selected edition and a selected and new poems, and the novel, Con Trick “An Bhalla Bháin” (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2009). He has won the major poetry prize at the Conradh na Gaeilge Oireachtas Literary Competitions four times, and the Irish American Cultural Institute presented him with the Butler Award for Poetry in 1999. He has had writer’s residencies in China and Slovenia and in 2015 he was writer in residence in Saint Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. He has had poems translated into seven languages. His latest collection is Tírdhreacha (Leabhair COMHAR, 2015).


Deirdre Brennan writes in English and in Irish. Her work includes poetry, short stories, plays and translations. She is from an Armagh background and was born in Dublin but spent her childhood in Clonmel and in Thurles. Ten of her poetry collections have been published, including Ag Mealladh Réalta (Coiscéim, 2000), Scáthán Eile: Hidden Places (Arlen House, 2011), and her latest book, As Trunc Fernando Pessoa: rogha dánta ó Fernando Pessoa (Coiscéim, 2015) is a translated work. Her books, An Banana Banshee agus scéalta eile (Coiscéim, 2009) and Staying Thin for Daddy (Arlen House, 2014) are both collections of short stories.

Lucy Caldwell 
was born in Belfast in 1981. She is the author of three novels, several stage plays and radio dramas, and a collection of short stories, Multitudes, published by Faber in 2016. It was described by Eimear McBride as “Beautifully crafted, and so finely balanced that she holds the reader right up against the tender humanity of her characters” and earned comparisons to Joyce’s Dubliners. Awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, the Imison Award, a Fiction Uncovered Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She was shortlisted for the 2012 BBC International Short Story Award and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Award (Canada & Europe) in 2014. Her website is


Jane Clarke’s first collection, The River, published by Bloodaxe Books, was shortlisted for the Royal Society for Literature Ondaatje Award 2016. Originally from Roscommon, she now lives in Wicklow. Her work is widely published and her awards include the Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry (2016), Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Prize (2014) and the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition (2014).


Tony Clayton-Lea is a freelance journalist, writer, editor and broadcaster who writes mostly on music, pop culture, film and travel for a variety of print and online outlets, including The Irish Times, The Sunday Business Post, and Cara, the in-flight magazine of Aer Lingus. He is a regular contributor to various radio stations, including RTÉ and BBC. He is also the author of six non-fiction, music-related books, the most recent of which is 101 Irish Records You Must Hear Before You Die (Liberties Press, 2011).


Evelyn Conlon novelist and short story writer, has edited four anthologies. Her stories have been widely translated, most recently into Tamil and Chinese. Her novel Skin of Dreams brought her on to Death Row in the US, her most recent, Not the Same Sky,  is based on the story of the 4000+ Famine orphan girls shipped to Australia. She has been described as a clear-sighted, observant and unsentimental thinker, her work suffused with originality and surprising wit.



Stephen Connolly - photo by Malachi O%27DohertyStephen Connolly was born in Belfast in 1989 and was educated at Queen’s University, Belfast. His poems have been published in Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review and The Irish Review. He has taught at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. He also co-hosts The Lifeboat, a regular reading series in The Sunflower Bar, Belfast.




Damian Corless, a journalist and former editor of Magill and In Dublin, and currently contributes to the Irish Independent. He has written comedy sketches for BBC TV’s classic Big Train and RTÉ’s award-winning Stew. His acclaimed books include Looks Like Rain: 9,000 Years of Irish Weather (Collins Press, 2013) and From Clery’s Clock to Wanderly Wagon (Collins Press, 2014), a lively romp through the Irish history you weren’t taught at school.


Dr. Maurice Curtis is a graduate of UCD and is based in Dublin. He is a historian and author with a particular interest in Irish social history, including ideology, identity and change. He is the author of many books on Irish and local history, including The Liberties: A History (2013) and To Hell or Monto (2015). With the publication of Temple Bar: A History (2016), the trilogy on the three most iconic districts of Dublin is complete.


Rosanna Davidson is a model and nutritional therapist. She leapt to international prominence at the age of 19 when she was crowned Miss World 2003. In the years since earning that accolade, she has established herself as one of Ireland’s most recognisable media personalities. Her website,, has grown rapidly since its launch in March last year. Rosanna has a huge social media following, which includes over 100,000 Instagram followers, 65,000 Twitter followers and 45,000 Facebook fans. Rosanna’s debut release, Eat Yourself Beautiful, was a No. 1 bestseller.


Sarah Davis-Goff is co-founder and co-publisher of Tramp Press. Recent publications include Solar Bones by Mike McCormack and Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume. She is inclined to write articles when she is particularly annoyed, and lives in Dublin.




Martina Devlin has written seven novels and two non-fiction books. Short story prizes include the Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Prize and a Hennessy Literary Award, and she was shortlisted three times for the Irish Book Awards. A current affairs commentator for the Irish Independent, she has been named columnist of the year by the National Newspapers of Ireland.



Aoife Dooley is an illustrator and designer based in Dublin. She studied in Colaiste Dhulaigh for three years before going on to achieve a first class honours degree in Vis. Comm., for which she studied at Dublin Institute of Technology. Aoife is best known for her ‘Your One Nikita‘ web comic. Her sweet and innocent illustrations are captioned and brought to life by the type of humour one can only accumulate from years of living on the northside of Dublin.


Theo Dorgan is a poet, novelist, prose writer, editor, essayist and translator. He has written libretti and documentary film scripts, and is a broadcaster on radio and television. Among his recent publications are Barefoot Souls (2015), translations from the French of the Syrian poet Maram al-Masri; Jason and the Argonauts (2014), a libretto; Foundation Stone: Towards a Constitution for a 21st Century Republic (2013, ed.) and the novel Making Way (2013). His most recent collection of poems, Nine Bright Shiners (Dedalus Press), was awarded the Irish Times/ Poetry Now Prize for best collection published in 2014. He is a member of Aosdána.


Anne Enright is the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction. A leading contemporary voice, her work has won many awards, including the Man Booker forThe Gathering in 2007 and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for The Forgotten Waltz in 2012. She lives and works in Dublin, her native town.




Oisín Fagan has had fiction published in The Stinging Fly, New Planet Cabaret and the anthology Young Irelanders. He won the inaugural Penny Dreadful Novella Prize for his novella The Heirophants. His debut collection of stories, Hostages, was published this year by New Island. He currently lives and works in Dublin.




Garrett Fitzgerald left his office-based career to follow his dream: to immerse himself in the creative adventures to be enjoyed with food. That journey started off with three wonderful months in Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School. Next, he and his partner James travelled the world, exploring the flavours of local food. They spent a year in Melbourne, working in a charming little bakery and a café businesses dedicated to purity, creativity and quality. Deciding to focus on the relatively undiscovered yet vibrant, healthy food of the Middle East, Garrett journeyed for several months through its streets, souks and bazaars, eating with locals and learning the secrets of their food and its part in their lives.


Patricia Fitzgerald has studied visual education and communication, philosophy and sociology, and is qualified in the therapeutic use of mindfulness. Discovering mandalas at a time of personal upheaval utterly changed her life. She practices mindfulness daily, and exhibits and hosts workshops and retreats in Ireland and abroad. Her book, Healing Creations: Discover your mindful self through mandala colouring and journaling, is published by The Collins Press.


Christopher Fitz-Simon was born in Belfast. He received a Moderatorship in Modern Languages & Literature from Trinity College, Dublin, where he was Chair of the Players and Editor of Icarus in the late 1950s. After working in the theatre and broadcasting in North America he became a drama director with RTÉ Television. Since then he has been Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, the Irish Theatre Company and the National Theatre Society (Abbey & Peacock Theatres, Dublin). He is the author of a large number of broadcast plays, including a BBC Italia Prize entry (The Dead) and two RTÉ Italia Prize entries (for original plays, Vina and A Snowman in July). Among his books are Eleven Houses, (Penguin); The Boys, Founders of the Dublin Gate Theatre (Nick Hern/Gill-Macmillan/Heinemann); The Abbey Theatre: The First 100 Years (Thames & Hudson), The Irish Theatre (Thames & Hudson); Buffoonery and the Easy Sentiment (Carysfort); The Arts in Ireland: A Chronology (Gill-Macmillan) and editions of new Abbey Theatre plays.


Tara Flynn is an actor and writer. She came to international attention in 2013 for Racist B&B, and was named Satirist of the Year at the Swift Satire Festival. She co-wrote and appeared in the marriage equality campaign PSA Armagayddon. She’s a core member of Dublin Comedy Improv. Recent TV includes ‘Irish Pictorial Weekly’, ‘Line of Duty’, and ‘Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle’. Tara is the author of You’re Grand: the Irishwoman’s Secret Guide to Life and Giving Out Yards: the Art of Complaint, Irish Style (Hachette Books Ireland). She is a regular contributor to radio and TV discussion panels.


Norman Freeman spent eight years at sea as a radio officer with the Marconi company. Drawing on his seafaring experiences, in 1993 he published an account of a voyage on a down-at-heel cargo ship called Seaspray and Whisky. This was serialised on the RTÉ Radio One ‘Booktime’ programme for six weeks soon after its publication. Much of his career was spent as a specialist writer in the public relations industry. With the late David Marcus, literary editor of The Irish Press, he helped establish the Hennessy Literary Awards. Later he acted as co-ordinator for the Benson & Hedges Press Awards. He has a special interest in the game of hurling and wrote two companion books, Classic Hurling Matches, that dealt with some of the outstanding games between the years 1956 and 1991 (Gill and Macmillan, 1993).


Bronagh GallagherBronagh Gallagher is a singer, songwriter, and actress from Northern Ireland. Bronagh was raised in Derry and now lives in Dublin. At the age of 17 she was cast as Bernie McGloughlin in Alan Parker’s The Commitments. Since then her music has alternated with film roles (Pulp Fiction, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Sherlock Holmes) plus theatre work (War Horse, The Street Of Crocodiles) and TV drama (Pramface, The Street, You Me And the Apocalypse). Bronagh maintains a special place for singing, writing, producing and performing her music. Her first album was the Meteor-nominated “Precious Soul”, followed by her second album “Bronagh Gallagher”. Bronagh and her band have just released their third album “Gather Your Greatness” and are currently on tour in the UK & Ireland.


Mia Gallagher is based in Dublin, Ireland. Her debut novel HellFire (Penguin Ireland, 2006) was widely acclaimed and received the Irish Tatler Literature Award (2007). Her short fiction has been published and anthologised in the US, UK, Ireland and Italy. Her chapbook, You First, won the START award (2005) and her stories have been shortlisted for Hennessy, Fish and Trevor/Bowen Awards. Mia’s work has featured in The Irish Catullus (ed. Ronan Sheehan, 2010) and Dave Lordan’s acclaimed 2015 anthology, Young Irelanders. Mia has received several Literature Bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland and has enjoyed several terms as writer-in-residence. She is guest editor for the Stinging Fly’s autumn issue, themed around ‘Fear & Fantasy’. Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland is her second novel.


Diarmuid Gavin is Ireland’s best-known gardener, and his TV shows have attracted huge audiences and made him a household name in the UK and Ireland. He has won several medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, including a Gold in 2011 for his ‘Irish Sky Garden’. His latest book The Extra Room: Better Garden, Better Home (Gill Books) is a DIY guide to discovering how to plan and express your own garden design. Previous books include Design Your Garden, Outer Spaces, Diarmuid Gavin’s Big Ideas and an autobiography published in 2010.


Áine Ní Ghlinn is a lecturer, children’s writer, poet and journalist. Her most recent children’s novels are Hata Zú Mhamó and DaideoDaideo won a range of major awards – Irish Language Book of the Year, Literacy Association of Ireland Book of the Year, as well as a Children’s Books Ireland Fiction Honour award. Although Áine has published five collections of poetry for adults, she writes mainly for young and young adult readers – from picture books for the very young (illustrated by artist Carol Betera) to stories, novels, plays and poetry for children and teenage readers. She has won a range of Oireachtas and other awards for poetry, drama and fiction.


David Gillick is a Dublin-born Champion Athlete, Celebrity Masterchef, sports commentator and new dad. Being a two-time European 400m Champion makes David one of Ireland’s most successful sprinters of all time. He became an Olympian in 2008 and in 2009 finished 6th in the Berlin world Championships. In the summer of 2013, David took part in RTÉ 1’s Celebrity Masterchef. He channeled his champion spirit and went on to become Ireland’s inaugural winner of the Celebrity version of the hit TV show. As a result, his cookbook, David Gillick’s Kitchen is a big success and he is a regular guest on TV3’s The Seven O’Clock Show, cooking up a storm with Lucy Kennedy and Martin King. David lives in Dublin with his wife Charlotte, their son Oscar and Pip the dog.


Sinéad Gleeson published The Glass Shore in autumn 2016 and is the editor of two previous anthologies, Silver Threads of Hope (2012) and The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers (2015), which won Best Irish Published Book at the 2015 Irish Book Awards. Her essays have appeared in Granta, Winter Papers and Banshee, and she is working on a novel and an essay collection. She presents ‘The Book Show’ on RTÉ Radio 1.


Johnny Gogan is filmmaker and writer for over 20 years. Born in England, Gogan moved back to Ireland with his family as a child. He studied politics and history at University College Dublin and worked as a journalist before becoming, along with his sister, Jane Gogan, and filmmaker Trish McAdam, a founding member of FilmBase, the Dublin-based resource centre for low-budget filmmakers. Gogan edited Film Base News (now Film Ireland) for three years and then moved into film direction with his short film, Stephen in 1991. In 1992, Gogan continued his examination of Dublin’s dispossessed with another short film, The Bargain Shop. He moved into feature filmmaking with the release of The Last Bus Home a film that has since gained a critical reputation as an interweaving of the last days of Dublin’s punk rock scene with an exploration of gay relationships. Moving out of city themes, Gogan’s next feature was The Map Maker, starring Susan Lynch and set on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.


Aoife Hearne RD (registered dietitian), is a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, the professional body for dieticians in Ireland. Aoife studied nutrition at the University of Tennessee on an athletics scholarship and went on to complete a dietetic internship at the world-renowned Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Aoife has been the nutrition expert on RTÉ’s Operation Transformation since 2014. She was the first dietitian to be part of the show in the year it won an IFTA. She lives in Waterford with her husband and family.


Dan Hegarty has been one of Ireland’s foremost music tastemakers for more than a decade through his radio show, ‘The Alternative’, on RTÉ 2FM. He has twice been nominated for ‘Best National DJ’ at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards. Buried Treasure Volume Two is the follow-up from Buried Treasure, published by Liberties Press in 2015. In both titles, Dan collaborates with dozens of pop culture icons to create a book that explores hidden gems in the music industry.


Patsy Horton is the Managing Editor at Blackstaff Press and Chair of the Northern Irish publishers’ association Publishing Northern Ireland.





Nicki Howard is Director of Gill Books, Ireland’s largest trade publisher. Its list includes outstanding non-fiction in biography, children’s, cookery, history, current affairs, MBS, gift books, reference and lifestyle. Nicki began her publishing career at Parachute Press in New York, where over four years her love of book publishing, branding and marketing was ignited. During this time, Nicki worked with other large houses including Harper Collins, Penguin and Random House on book series for children. At Gill Books, Nicki is involved in many aspects of the publishing process, from overseeing the editorial, sales and comms departments to publishing her own small list of titles. Nicki studied English and American Literature at the University of Kent and, for a number of years, taught English in Prague, the UK and West Indies.


Philip Jones is the editor of The Bookseller, and co-founder of He lives in London.






Madeleine Keane is a writer, the Literary Editor of the Sunday Independent and an award-winning travel journalist.





Maeve Kelly was born Clare and raised in Dundalk. She studied nursing at St Andrew’s Hospital in London and settled in Limerick. She has broadcast with RTÉ, been a guest speaker at conferences and has written novels, short stories and poems, often dealing with women’s struggle for equal rights. These include A Life of Her Own (Poolbeg, 1976), Necessary Treasons (Michael Joseph, 1985), Florrie’s Girls (Blackstaff Press, 1989) and Orange Horses (Blackstaff Press, 1990). She won the Hennessy Award in 1972 and in 1978 founded Adapt, a Limerick-based shelter for victims of domestic violence.


R.B. Kelly’s first novel, The Edge of Heaven, was a winner of the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair Competition and was published by Liberties Press in 2016. Her short fiction and non-fiction articles have appeared in magazines and journals around the world, and her short story, ‘Blumelena’, was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in 2012. Her doctoral thesis, ‘Mark Antony and Popular Culture’, was published by IB Tauris in 2014. She lives and works in Belfast.


Domini Kemp is an award-winning chef, food writer and entrepreneur. In 2013 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and since then she has shifted her focus towards healthier eating. She changed her column in The Irish Times to healthier recipes and opened Alchemy Juice Co – a juice and wholefoods café. The Ketogenic Kitchen (Gill Books) is her fifth cookbook and is focused on nutrition and well-being.


David Kenny is a journalist, broadcast, author and songwriter. He has worked in several senior editorial and journalistic  roles across the Press and Independent groups, RTÉ, and the Sunday Tribune. His books include Erindipity: The Irish Miscellany, The Little Buke of Dublin, The Trib, The Press Gang: Tales from the Glory Days of Irish Newspapers and The Splendid Years: The Memoirs of an Abbey Actress and 1916 Rebel. 


Pat LiddyPat Liddy, a Dubliner by birth, has always been fascinated by the history, the natural environment and the architecture of his native city. As an artist and writer, Pat has long and enthusiastically promoted this unique heritage through his broadcasting on TV and radio, through books, newspaper articles, his popular Dublin Visitor Map and now through the medium of his acclaimed walking tour company.


Rosemary MacCabeRosemary Mac Cabe is a blogger, journalist and TV panellist based in Dublin. She’s currently concentrating full-time on, well, herself – writing her blog, recording YouTube videos, working on becoming a social media star and collaborating with brands she loves on creating quality content. Oh – and she’s also writing a book. Expected publication: 2032. She has contributed to The Irish TimesIMAGEIrish TatlerIrish Country Magazine and more. She regularly appears on TV3’s Midday and, in primary school, came first in RTÉ’s Irish-language quiz show, Eureka. She still has the T-shirt.


Christodoulos MakrisChristodoulos Makris’ books are Spitting Out the Mother Tongue (Wurm Press, 2011) and The Architecture of Chance (Wurm Press, 2015) – chosen as a poetry book of the year by RTÉ’s Arena and 3:AM Magazine. He has curated numerous projects and events, including the transnational poetry collaborations tour, Yes But Are We Enemies (2014), which involved more than 40 contemporary poets from Ireland and Britain. He is the poetry editor of gorse.


Catherine MarshallCatherine Marshall is an art historian and Joint-editor of Twentieth Century, Vol V. of the Royal Irish Academy’s five-volume, Art and Architecture of Ireland. She lectured in the History of Art department of Trinity College Dublin and the National College of Art and Design, and she was founding Head of Collections at IMMA from 1995 to 2007. She has curated exhibitions of contemporary Irish art and Outsider Art in venues all over Ireland and as far afield as China, the United States of America and Canada. She is currently Head of the Visual Arts Steering Committee for the Bealtaine festival and sits on the boards of the Butler Gallery and KCAT. She is one of the founding editors of Comcol, the online journal of the collections section of ICOM.


Kevin Martin-min-minKevin Martin taught English, communications and cultural studies for twenty-five years. He is married with two children and lives near Westport, County Mayo. He loves pubs, travel and reading. Have Ye No Homes To Go To? is his first book.




Mike Without Hat B&W-minMike McCormack is an award-winning novelist and short story writer from Mayo. His previous work includes Getting it in the Head (1995), Crowe’s Requiem (1998), Notes from a Coma (2005), which was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award, and Forensic Songs (2012). In 1996 he was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and in 2007 he was awarded a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship. He lives in Galway.


Lisa McInerneyLisa McInerney’s short stories have featured in The Stinging Fly, Granta and BBC Radio 4 and in the anthologies The Long Gaze Back and Town and Country. Her debut novel The Glorious Heresies won the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize.




Michael McLoughlinMichael McLoughlin is Publisher at Penguin Ireland and Managing Director of Penguin Random House Ireland.





Lia Mills

Lia Mills writes novels, short stories and literary non-fiction. Her first novel, Another Alice was nominated for the Irish Times Irish fiction prize. Her second novel Nothing Simple was shortlisted for the Irish Novel of the Year. In Your Face, a memoir of her diagnosis of and treatment for oral cancer, was named as a favourite book of 2007 by several commentators. In 2013 she co-edited Word of Mouth: coping with and surviving mouth, head and neck cancers with Dr. Denise MacCarthy. Her third novel, Fallen, set in Dublin 1914-1916, was chosen as the 2016 Dublin: One City One Book selection. Born in Dublin, Lia has lived in London and America before returning to Ireland in 1990. She is currently writer-in- residence at Farmleigh.


Catherine Moonan-minCatherine Moonan is the author of The Pitch Coach (Liberties Press, 2016). Catherine set up Communication Matters in 2002 to provide training and coaching in communication and presentation skills. She is the pitch coach on RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den and has successfully coached over 500 contestants, helping them to secure over €4 million in investment. She is a broadcaster and journalist, with a Masters in Journalism from Dublin City University. Catherine has contributed to media outlets including the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, Irish Daily Mail, Irish Examiner, Newstalk and Today FM. She has also carried out research for RTÉ’s Prime Time. Her website is


JulieMorrissy-minJulie Morrissy is a poet living in Dublin after spending many years in North America. She is a Vice-Chancellor Research Scholar at University of Ulster, pursuing her doctorate in poetry. Morrissy has performed and published her work widely in Ireland, the UK, Canada and the US. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (UK) and selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. Her debut chapbook, I Am Where, is available from Eyewear Press.


Mike MurphyMike Murphy is an Irish broadcaster and actor. He is best known for his long career with RTÉ, presenting many TV shows such as The Live MikeWinning Streak and The Arts Show. Murphy began his broadcasting career as an announcer with RTÉ Radio in 1965. By 1968, he had established his reputation as an announcer and a radio presenter. In 1988, he began presenting The Arts Show on RTÉ Radio 1. Between 2001 and 2011, he took a break from broadcasting, returning to present The Big Interview – meeting with people who have made a significant impact on Ireland. In 2012, he presented the arts show Masterpiece: Ireland’s Favourite Painting.


Eiléan Ní ChulleanáinEiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was born in Cork City in 1942, educated there and at Oxford before spending her working life as an academic in Trinity College, Dublin. She was a founder member of Cyphers, a literary journal. She has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Irish Times Award for Poetry and the O’Shaughnessy Award of the Irish-American Cultural Institute and the International Griffin Poetry Prize. Her collections include Acts and Monuments (1972), Site of Ambush (1975), The Second Voyage (1977, 1986), The Rose Geranium (1981), The Magdalene Sermon (1989), The Brazen Serpent (1994), The Girl Who Married the Reindeer (2001), Selected Poems (2008), The Sun-fish (2009) and The Boys of Bluehill (2015). Legend of the Walled-up Wife appeared in 2011. Eiléan is a Fellow and Professor of English (Emerita) at Trinity College, Dublin and a member of Aosdána.


Miriam O'CallaghanMiriam O’Callaghan is a broadcaster, born and raised in Dublin. She qualified as a solicitor before beginning her broadcasting career on ITV’s This is your Life. She joined the BBC as a producer in 1987, and went on to become a reporter on BBC2’s Newsnight. In the early ‘90s Miriam returned to Ireland to present RTÉ’s current affairs flagship programme Prime Time, while continuing to cover the Northern Irish peace process for Newsnight. In June 2013, her Prime Time interview with Praveen Halappanavar, won the Television News Category of the Justice Media Awards. Outside of her work on Prime Time, Miriam presents her own chat show during the summer, Saturday Night with Miriam, and a radio programme Sundays with Miriam on RTÉ Radio 1.


Joseph O'ConnorJoseph O’Connor is the author of eight novels including Cowboys and Indians (1991), Star of the Sea (2002), Redemption Falls (2007), Ghost Light (2010) and The Thrill of it All (2014), as well as two collections of short stories, True Believers (1992) and Where Have You Been? (2012), and a number of bestselling works of non-fiction. He has also written radio diaries, film scripts and stage-plays, including an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel, My Cousin Rachel. In 2014 he was appointed Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick, and he oversees the UL Frank McCourt Creative Writing Summer School at NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House.


Mary O'DonnellMary O’Donnell is a short story writer, poet and novelist who has been publishing since 1990. Her most recent novel is Where They Lie. Other novels include the best-selling The Light-Makers, Virgin and the Boy, and The Elysium Testament. Her short story collections are Strong Pagans and Storm over Belfast, the latter long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2008. She has also published seven collections of poetry, most recently Those April Fevers. She has won several prestigious prizes, including the Fish International Short Story Award, and the Listowel Writers’ Week Short Fiction Award. She is a member of Aosdána.


Roisin O'DonnellRoisín O’Donnell is a is a short story writer living in Ireland. Her work has been published widely, and appears in the anthologies Young Irelanders and The Long Gaze Back. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Forward Prize, she has been shortlisted for many international awards, including the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award 2016. Her debut short story collection, Wild Quiet, was published by New Island this year.


Tony O'DwyerTony O’Dwyer has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, The Stony Thursday Book, The Cúirt Journal, Crannóg, The Raintown Review and others. Having been a runner-up in the Patrick Kavanagh Award his first poetry collection, Off Guard, was published by Bradshaw Books in 2003. He is co-editor of Crannóg magazine. Crannóg magazine was founded in 2002 by members of the Galway Writers workshop. The first issue was launched in December 2002 and since then has developed into a truly international magazine publishing fiction and poetry from all over the anglophone world:


Faith O'GradyFaith O’Grady is a literary agent with the Lisa Richards Agency, Ireland largest talent agency. She represents a broad range of writers of fiction and non-fiction, and is interested in literary fiction, psychological suspense, reading group fiction, children’s and YA fiction, historical fiction. She is also looking for distinctive voices in narrative non-fiction.



Vanessa Fox O'LoughlinVanessa Fox O’Loughlin is the founder of and The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy. She is Ireland’s leading literary talent scout and has assisted many award-winning and best-selling authors to publication. Vanessa writes crime fiction as Sam Blake. The first of her Cat Connolly thriller trilogy, Little Bones, was published in May 2016 and hit the bestseller list, spending eight weeks in the Top 10, with four weeks at No.1.


Colm O'ReganColm O’Regan is a critically acclaimed stand-up comedian, columnist, broadcaster and author of three best-selling Irish Mammies books: Isn’t It Well For Ye?, That’s More Of It Now and It’s Earlier ‘Tis Getting, based on his @irishmammies Twitter account, which now has over 200,000 followers. He writes a weekly column for The Irish Examiner and has written for The Irish Times and BBC Online Magazine. Colm is a regular contributor on Irish radio and the BBC World Service and has hosted his own radio show on RTE 1. As a comedian, he has performed to sell-out crowds all over the world, from Tokyo to Cape Town. His stand-up has also featured on RTÉ’s Late Late Show and on Comedy Central.


Ciaran O'RourkeCiaran O’Rourke was born in 1991 and is based in Dublin. Winner of the Fish Poetry Prize 2016, the Westport Poetry Prize 2015 (in memory of Dermot Healy) and the Lena Maguire / Cúirt New Irish Writing Award 2009, his poems have been widely published. An online chapbook, The Sea Path, was issued by Smithereens Press in 2016 and his pocket-pamphlet, Some Poems, was released as a Moth Edition in 2011.


Mary O'RourkeMary O’Rourke retired from politics in 2011 having served as Minister for Education, Minister for Health, Minister for Public Enterprise and Deputy Leader of her party, Fianna Fáil, over the course of a long and successful career. She has also been Leader of the Seanad and is a frequent guest on radio and television. Her first book, Just Mary, was a No. 1 bestseller. She lives in Athlone and has two sons.



Rick O'SheaRick O’Shea has been a radio presenter with RTÉ 2FM since 2001. He’s also the presenter of The Poetry Programme on RTÉ Radio 1. He has hosted author interviews with guests as diverse as playwright Simon Stephens, authors Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer, Jessie Burton, Michael Chabon, Liz Nugent and Chris Cleave, as well as conversations with journalist  Johann Hari at Dublin’s International Literature Festival and Graham Norton at Listowel Writers Week. In the fractional spare time remaining to him, he runs Ireland’s largest online book club – just look up ‘Rick O’Shea Book Club‘ on Facebook.


Fintan O'TooleFintan O’Toole is literary editor of The Irish Times and Leonard L. Milberg visiting lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton University. Born in Dublin in 1958, he has been drama critic of In Dublin magazine, The Sunday Tribune, the New York Daily News, and The Irish Times, and Literary Adviser to the Abbey Theatre. He edited Magill magazine and since 1988 has been a columnist with The Irish Times. He contributes regularly to the New York Review of Books. His most recent book is A History of Ireland in 100 Objects (2013). Other recent books include Enough is Enough (2010), Ship of Fools (2009), The Irish Times Book of the 1916 Rising (2006), White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America (2005) and After the Ball (2003).


Dominic Perrem

Dominic Perrem has worked in publishing for twelve years, including three years as Head of Rights at Phaidon Press in London. Prior to setting up The Rights Bureau he ran his his own international packaging business and worked as a sales and editorial consultant for publishers in the UK and Ireland. The majority of his experience is in international rights sales, working with worldwide publishers from North America to Europe and Asia.


Homan PottertonHoman Potterton is an art historian and writer who was director of the National Gallery of Ireland, 1980-88. He was previously an assistant keeper, curator, at the National Gallery, London. He was editor of Irish Arts Review from 1993 to 2002.




Declan PowerDeclan Power is the author of Siege at Jadotville (Maverick House), a captivating military account of heroism against-all-odds of Irish troops in the Congo in 1961. He is a security and defence analyst who has worked throughout Africa and the Middle East. He was a career soldier who served in the three combat arms of the Irish Army, attended the military college, and served within the higher echelons of Defence Headquarters. Siege at Jadotville is now a Netflix Original Film starring Jamie Dornan as Comdt Pat Quinlan.


Mr PussyAlan Amsby a.k.a. Mr Pussy  – ‘Ireland’s Most Mis-Leading Lady’ – was born in London and performed as part one of the most popular drag double-acts in England, ‘Pussy and Bow’. Alan was booked to do a show in Belfast in the late 1960s, and has stayed on these shores ever since. Lauded as the first to introduce drag to Ireland, after a controversial appearance on The Late Late Show he sold out venues across the country. He introduced cabaret to The Baggot Inn, which led to a residency of two and a half years. Amsby and his boundary-pushing persona sparked the Irish conversation around sexuality and the ongoing battle against social injustice and inequality. The subject of a Gavin Friday song, the inspiration for Kitten in Breakfast on Pluto, and a regular feature on television over the years, Mr Pussy remains one of the most outrageous characters in Irish entertainment and across the world.


Sean RocksSeán Rocks is the presenter of Arena, RTÉ Radio 1’s flagship arts, culture and entertainment programme. In that role, Seán has interviewed many major writers, actors, musicians and artists – including Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Edna O’Brien, Martin Sheen, Danny De Vito, Saoise Rónan, John Banville, Brendan Gleeson, Roddy Doyle, Steve Reich and Marina Carr. He has hosted numerous outside broadcasts from major arts festivals, and anchored Arena’s live three-hour broadcasts from Meeting House Square during Culture Night 2013 and 2014. He has also hosted public interviews with figures in both the national and international arts world.


Donal RyanDonal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. He holds a Writing Fellowship at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife, Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City. All We Shall Know is his latest novel.




Paula ShieldsPaula Shields is a senior researcher in RTÉ Television, currently working on documentaries. Previous programmes include the arts series The View and The Works Presents and documentaries, Being John Banville (2008) and A Rebel Act – Poems That Shaped Ireland (2014). She has worked as a journalist in London and Dublin since 1990, and she edited the Irish Theatre Handbook (3rd ed. 2003).



Olivia SmithOlivia Smith is co-editor of Winter Papers, Ireland’s annual arts anthology.






Gerard SmythGerard Smyth is a poet, critic and journalist whose poetry has appeared widely in journals in Ireland, Britain and the United States as well as in translation in several languages including Italian, Romanian, French, German, Ukrainian, Spanish and Hungarian. He has published eight collections of poetry, including, A Song of Elsewhere (Dedalus Press 2015), and The Fullness of Time: New and Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2010). He was the 2012 recipient of the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award presented by the University of St Thomas in Minnesota and is co-editor, with Pat Boran, of If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (Dedalus Press) which was Dublin’s ‘One City, One Book’ in 2013. He is a member of Aosdána.


Sallyanne SweeneySallyanne Sweeney grew up in Dublin and studied English at Trinity College before completing an M.Phil. in American Literature at Queens’ College, Cambridge. After graduating she joined Watson, Little Ltd, becoming a Literary Agent in 2008 and a Director of the company in 2011. She joined Mulcahy Associates in 2013 and is building her list of fiction and non-fiction authors for children and adults, as well as a small number of picture book illustrators. Passionate about working with debut authors, her fiction tastes are wide-ranging, from the literary to the very commercial, but she is particularly looking for voice-driven narratives with a strong hook. In non-fiction, she is interested in memoirs and food writing. Sallyanne is the Chair of the Children’s Agents’ Committee and regularly attends writing festivals and events.


Susan TomaselliSusan Tomaselli is founder and editor of gorse. She is formerly an editor at 3:AM Press, and co-editor of 3:AM Magazine. She has written for the GuardianThe Stinging Fly, and elsewhere. She lives in Dublin.




Mark TraynorMark Traynor is the Director of the James Joyce Centre. He coordinates the annual Bloomsday celebrations in Dublin, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Mark is the co-author of Written in My Heart: Walks Through James Joyce’s Dublin with Emily Carson.




Aseem TrivadiAseem Trivadi is an Indian cartoonist and human rights defender. He played a leading role in India’s 2010 anti-corruption movement with his “Cartoons Against Corruption” series, for which the government suspended Aseem’s website and charged him with sedition, breaching the IT act, and “insulting” national symbols. After spending three days in prison, Aseem launched the Save Your Voice campaign against the IT rules being used to target him and other activists, and went on hunger-strike demanding they be repealed. In 2015, following years of peaceful activism, India’s Supreme Court struck down the IT rules Aseem was once imprisoned under. Later that year, he created a comic magazine dedicated to telling the stories of human rights defenders at risk around the world. Today, while the sedition and IT charges have been dropped, Aseem still faces up to three years in prison for “insulting” the government through his art.


Eibhear WalsheDr Eibhear Walshe is a senior lecturer in the School of Modern English at University College Cork. His biography, Kate O’Brien A Writing Life, was published by Irish Academic Press in 2006. His memoir, Cissie’s Abattoir, was published by Collins Press in 2009 and he edited Elizabeth Bowen’s Selected Irish Writings for Cork University Press in 2011. Oscar’s Shadow: Wilde, Homosexuality and Ireland was published by Cork University Press in 2012 and A Different Story: the Writings of Colm Toibin was published by Irish Academic Press in 2013. His novel, The Diary of Mary Travers, was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Novel of the Year Award 2015 and longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award.


Colm WilliamsonColm Williamson started Waterford Whispers News in 2009 when he was unemployed. Originally from Tipperary, he worked as a bar manager and later took a one-year course in journalism. Waterford Whispers News is now his full-time job.




Ian Wilson was one of the founding producers of RTÉ 2FM. He produced Dave Fanning’s rock show for 11 years; began the Fanning Sessions in 1980; organised the ‘Lark in the Park’ outdoor concerts all over Ireland and also kicked off the country’s first free outdoor dance shows, ‘The Beat on the Street’. In the meantime he launched 2FM live, for 16 years now the main live broadcast and recording operation on the island, with over 1,000 acts recorded and broadcast at every major festival and live event.


Children’s and Schools’ Programme

Phillip BarrettPhilip Barrett is an illustrator, designer and comic artist originally from Co. Donegal and currently based in Galway. In 2012 he illustrated The O’Brien Press children’s book, Where’s Larry?, and in 2016 illustrated the follow-up, Where’s Larry This Time?. His illustrations and comics have appeared in publications as diverse as The Irish Times and Rabble. He has been self-publishing his comic, Matter, since 2001 and has contributed to numerous anthologies. Philip set up Blackshapes Books in 2014 to publish longer-form graphic novel work. Philip also specialises in live-drawing and has provided illustrated reports at events for Google, TEDx Dublin, the National Museum of Ireland and the Dublin Writers Festival, among others.


Diana BuniciDiana Bunici is presenter on RTÉ’s daily live studio show ‘elev8!’ for five years. With over 700 live shows, two documentaries and 280 hours of television under her belt, Diana Bunici is a highly skilled live TV maker. The 27-year-old Moldovan-Irish broadcaster has interviewed everyone from Justin Bieber to the Muppets, the cast of Harry Potter to Jenson Button, and many more! Having recently relocated to London from Dublin, Diana works as a freelance TV presenter and producer. In her spare time, she puts her BA in Journalism to good use writing articles for international media and campaigning for charities close to her heart. The Pursuit of Awesome is Diana’s first book.


Caroline BussherCaroline Busher is an award winning author with Poolbeg Press. She graduated with a First Class Honours MA in Creative Writing from UCD and is represented by Trace Literary Agency-USA. The Ghosts of Magnificent Children is her debut novel.




Shane CaseyShane Casey is the author of two dyslexia-friendly children’s books, Nature’s Secret Adventures and Nature’s Hidden Adventures. Originally from the Burren in Co. Clare, Shane works as Clare Biodiversity Officer.





Pauline DevinePauline Devine has worked as a teacher and journalist in Ireland and Australia. She was the first Irish author to be awarded an Arts Council Bursary for Children’s Literature. She has written books in Irish and English. Pauline’s latest publication is a new edition of Best Friends, a classic tale set in the Irish countryside which has been translated into several languages.



Gabriel FitzmauriceGabriel Fitzmaurice is a translator from the village of Moyvane in County Kerry. He taught in the local primary school for more than thirty years, before retiring in 2007. He is the author of more than fifty books, including collections of poetry in English and Irish, as well as several collections of verse for children. He has translated extensively from Irish and has edited a number of anthologies of poetry. Gabriel has been described as ‘a wonderful poet’ in The Guardian and ‘the Irish A. A. Milne’ by award-winning writer Declan Kiberd in The Sunday Tribune. He is Ireland’s best-selling, and best-loved, children’s poet.


Paul GamblePaul Gamble was born and brought up in Belfast. He currently works in the Department of Communities, which involves working closely with a range of arts and cultural institutions throughout Northern Ireland. Alongside his job, Paul has also written for television and radio for the last twenty years. He has worked on topical comedy sketch shows with many actors and stand-up comedians. His debut novel, Ministry of SUITs, will be published by Little Island Books in September 2016.


Chris JudgeChris Judge is an illustrator, artist and children’s picture book author based in Dublin. His work is a mixture of illustration, painting and design, and has appeared in books, advertising, newspapers, magazines, exhibitions and interiors. In 2011 Chris’s first picture book, The Lonely Beast (Andersen Press) went on to win the Supersavers Irish Children’s Book of the Year. It has been followed by two Beast sequels as well as other picture book projects, including TiN and his Brian Boru series, illustrated by Mark Wickham. In 2014, he illustrated Roddy Doyle’s new children’s book, Brilliant, and collaborated on a book for older children with comedian David O’Doherty called Danger is Everywhere! His second book with David was published in August 2015, and his third Beast book in September 2015. He is working on a third Danger book and a new series with his brother, Andrew.


Eithne MasseyEithne Massey is the author of a number of books for young readers which intermingle history with fantasy, myths, legends and folklore. Her adaptation of the award-winning movie, The Secret of Kells, is set in the time of the early Viking raids. The Silver Stag of Bunratty and Where the Stones Sing are set in Norman Ireland, and Blood Brother, Swan Sister (Joint winner – 2015 LAI Awards) at the time of the Battle of Clontarf. Eithne is also the author of re-tellings of Irish myths for younger children and of a book for adults, Legendary Ireland.


Geraldine MillsGeraldine Mills has been writing for many years and is well established as a poet and short-story writer, with several books to her name. Gold is her first novel, and her first book for children. She lives outside Galway city, on the west coast of Ireland, with her husband Peter.




David O'DohertyDavid O’Doherty is an Irish comedian, author, musician, actor and playwright. His stand-up has won many international awards including the if.comedy award in 2008 and Best International Comedian at the 2014 Sydney Comedy Festival. O’Doherty has written several books, composed two plays and released three comedy CDs. His latest book for children, Danger Is Everywhere, illustrated by Chris Judge, has been selected for the UNESCO Dublin City of Literature Citywide Reading Campaign.


Lauren O'NeillLauren O’Neill is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Dublin. Originally from Wexford, she moved to Dublin to study Vis. Comm. in NCAD and now thinks of the city as home. Since graduating in 2006 she has worked mainly as a designer in branding and advertising, but has recently begun to focus on illustration full time. Lauren has been an avid reader since childhood and illustrating books has been a lifelong ambition.


Nicola PierceNicola Pierce published her first book for children, Spirit of the Titanic, to rave reviews and five printings within its first twelve months. City of Fate, her second book for children, transported the reader deep into the Russian city of Stalingrad during World War II. The novel was shortlisted for the Warwickshire School Library Service Award, 2014. Behind the Walls, a rich emotional novel set in the besieged city of Derry in 1689, followed in 2015. To read more about Nicola, visit her website,


Gabriel RosenstockGabriel Rosenstock was born in postcolonial Ireland c. 1949. He is a member of Aosdána, Lineage Holder of Celtic Buddhism, a poet and haikuist, and an author-translator of over 180 books, including books for children. Recent titles include Judgement Day (The Onslaught Press), Óró na Circíní (An Gúm) and a new edition of the comic detective novel, My Head is Missing (Evertype). He has translated singable versions of Lieder and Volkslieder into Irish for the Lieder Net Archive and songs by Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, The Pogues, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen and David Bowie for the IMRAM festival. He blogs at


Gerard SigginsGerard Siggins was born in Dublin and has lived almost all his life in the shadow of Lansdowne Road; he’s been attending rugby matches there since he was small enough for his dad to lift him over the turnstiles. He is a sports journalist and worked for The Sunday Tribune for many years. Rugby Flyer is the latest of his books about rugby player Eoin Madden. Rugby Spirit, Rugby Warrior and Rugby Rebel are also published by The O’Brien Press.