An audience with novelist and playwright Dermot Bolger, a reading by human rights activist Colm O’Gorman, a workshop on how to write your memoir and a debate on the burning questions of the day are just a few of the key attractions of this year’s Athlone Literary Festival which takes place from Friday September 25 to Sunday September 27. Organisers of the festival have compiled an intriguing and diverse schedule of events for the annual event, which is now becoming a fixture on the cultural calendar of the region. For those excited by the cut and thrust of debate and discussion on some of the vital questions in this turbulent time, The Big Question on Friday evening is tailor-made.
Mary Davis, CEO Special Olympics Ireland; Brendan Keenan, group business editor of Independent newspaper; Colm O’ Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International; and Dr Steven King, Irish Examiner columnist and former advisor to David Trimble will form the high-profile panel of speakers.
The debate on Friday evening from 8pm to 10pm in The Prince of Wales promises a session of moral, ethical, controversial and contrasting perspectives as each of the speakers address their own big question. Audience interaction will most definitely be encouraged. On Saturday afternoon, O’ Gorman, who was the founder of One in Four, will also read from his recently-published memoir Beyond Belief, which outlines how he took on the Catholic Church after suffering sexual abuse as a boy in his native Wexford. Dermot Bolger, one of the most well-known literary figures in the country, will deliver a workshop on writing and publishing on Saturday afternoon and there will be a further workshop session on bookmaking for children, also on Saturday afternoon.
The festival programme can be obtained by visiting www.athlone.ie/literaryfestival There is a small admission fee to most programme items. A weekend pass can be purchased for €55/concessions €35.
Enquiries and bookings to [email protected] or to (090 ) 6498838. Bookings may also be made at The Prince of Wales Hotel on the festival weekend. However, patrons are advised that some events may book out in advance.