Mayo County Council Arts Office, in partnership with Áras Inis Gluaire, held the 19th Force 12 Writer’s Festival from Friday June 12 to Sunday June 14 in Belmullet. Patrick Cotter directed the weekend, with a host of well-known writers including Billy Ramsell, Clare Wigfall, John Corless, Liz O’Donaghue, Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, and William Wall. This year’s writer-in-residence Éilís Ní Dhuibhne worked with a number of schools and writing groups throughout the county in the lead up to the festival weekend.
Readings by published writers took place on Friday and Saturday evening. Readings by members of writers’ groups took place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. There were workshops on Saturday morning and afternoon. All events took place in Áras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet Arts Centre, and were very well attended by writers and writers’ groups from Mayo and throughout the country. Following readings in Teach John Joe in Eachléim on Sunday morning, local writer John Corless launched his first collection of poetry Are You Ready? COrless is extremely active in the promotion of writing in Mayo and a regular attendee of Force 12. All wished him continued success in his writing career.