Hay Festival returns to Kells next month

Story by Ann Casey

Tuesday, 10th May, 2016 12:50pm

Hay Festival returns to Kells next month

Francis Brennan

The Hay Festival Kells will celebrate Kells native Dick Farrelly, composer of ’The Isle of Inisfree’ at this year’s festival.
It will also welcome authors Hanif Kureishi, Patrick McCabe, Kevin Barry, Rhianna Pratchett, Eamon Gilmore and Ronan Fanning and many more to County Meath this summer.
Now in its fourth year, Hay Festival Kells returns with an even bigger and more ambitious programme from 23rd to 26th June.
Dick Farrelly wrote ‘The Isle of Innisfree,’ which was heard first in John Ford’s classic ‘The Quiet Man’. Farrelly’s contribution to contemporary culture will be discussed by his son Gerard, there will be performances of his work by Gerard and his partner Sinead Stone, a talk by Des McHale and a screening of ‘The Quiet Man’.
British writer Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette, The Buddha of Suburbia, Love and Hate) will join a roll-call of some of Ireland’s most exciting contemporary writers including Patrick McCabe (The Butcher Boy), Kevin Barry (Beatlebone), Lisa McInerney (The Glorious Heresies), Jax Miller (Freedom’s Child), Liz Nugent (Unravelling Oliver), Oona Frawley (Flight) and Vanessa Ronan (The Last Days of Summer).  
Sinead Gleeson will host a workshop based on her compilation of Irish women’s writing ‘The Long Gaze Back’. Other international writers will be announced soon.
Playing with the notion that the Book of Kells was the first graphic novel, comic-book writer, Maura McHugh, and Irish Times journalist, Karlin Lillington, have curated ‘The Image,’ a series of talks and workshops by Rhianna Pratchett (Tomb Raider), Michael Carroll (Judge Dredd) and others.
Roisin Ingle will discuss her hugely popular Irish Times column and former Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore, will delve into his autobiography ‘Inside the Room’. Paul Kimmage will discuss cycling and the topical issue of drugs in sport.
The festival will mark the 25th anniversary of the first entry in ‘Zlata’s Diary’ of the Bosnian Civil War with a visit from the author Zlata Filipovic.
Returning to Hay Festival Kells will be US dramatist Matthew Spangler (The Kite Runner, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner). Chelsea Flower Show winner Mary Reynolds will examine our use of land through sustainable, natural agriculture and gardening. The hugely entertaining Francis Brennan will also visit Kells this year.
The centenary of the Somme will be marked by lectures from Brian Ervine and Myles Dungan. These will be complemented by an exhibition of work by pupils of the Kells Parochial National School and the Kells and Connor National School, Co Antrim. Professor Ronan Fanning will discuss Eamon de Valera, and Tony Bucher from San Francisco will look at some of the Irishmen who helped to shape the city. The Easter Rising will be  discussed by Catriona Crowe, Padraig Yeates, Sinead McCoole, Joe Duffy (Children of the Rising) and Gene Kerrigan (The Scrap).
Earlybird tickets for selected events are available now at www.hayfestival.com/kells
Tickets can also be purchased in person in Kells by visiting the BOOK MARKet café or at Antonia’s Bookstore in Trim.

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