The best of Irish to be seen and heard at Cúirt

Joseph O’Connor.

Joseph O’Connor.

JOSEPH O’CONNOR, Colm Toibín, and singer-songwriter John Spillane will all be appearing at this year’s Cúirt International Festival of Literature, which takes place from April 21 to 26.

The full Cúirt festival programme will be launched on Wednesday March 18 at 6pm by the poet, writer and broadcaster Theo Dorgan at Bar No. 8, The Docks. Following the launch, tickets for all readings will be available from the Town Hall Theatre on 091 -569777.

In the meantime, the Galway Advertiser has learned of a number of events that will be taking place for Cúirt, to whet the appetite of literature lovers throughout the city and county.

The acclaimed author Colm Toibín will read from his latest novel Brooklyn - which will be made available especially for Cúirt audiences - on Wednesday April 22 at 8.30pm in the Town Hall Theatre.

Brooklyn, centred on the character of Eilis Lacey, is a tender story of departure and return, of great love and loss, and of the terrible choice between personal freedom and duty.

Joseph O’Connor, who has received international praise for his best-selling novels Star Of The Sea and Redemption Falls, will be in conversation with Philip King on Friday April 24 at 8.30pm.

Musician, filmmaker, and broadcaster Philip King will talk to O’Connor about the influence of Irish-American ballads in his recent work. King is also a member of Scullion (with the great Sonny Condell ) and the band will perform on the final night of Cúirt.

Last year John Spillane recorded a collection of songs that many people had not heard since they left primary school. The resulting album Irish Songs We Learned at School quickly became a phenomenon, achieving double platinum status. John will perform songs from the album in the Town Hall Theatre on Tuesday April 21 at 4.30pm.

Cúirt will screen a selection of films by Pat Collins, including Michael Harnett: A Necklace of Wrens; Frank O’Connor: The Lonely Voice; John McGahern: A Private World; and Nuala Ní Dhomhaill: Taibhsi I Mbeal na Gaoithe.

To celebrate Seamus Heaney’s 70th birthday, Cúirt will also screen Philip King’s Keeping Time, which looks at the 1998 collaboration between Seamus Heaney and the piper Liam O’Flynn.

All screenings will take place in Nuns Islands Theatre.

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