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ECHOES 2019 to celebrate Community in Contemporary Writing

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Wordspark


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ECHOES returns to Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre from the 4th – 6th October 2019. The theme of this year’s event is the concept of community in contemporary writing in Ireland and a fantastic line-up of guest speakers has been announced.  Now in its third year, ECHOES celebrates the life and work of Maeve Binchy and Irish writers and will host a series thought provoking talks, walks, debates, interviews and theatrical events.

This year’s event will feature a variety of speakers including Olivia O’Leary, Cathy Kelly, Jo Spain, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Mary Pat Kelly, Hazel Gaynor, Fionn Davenport, Andrea Carter, Roisin Ingle, Clelia Murphy and Deirdre O’Kane and more.

ECHOES will start on Friday 4th October with a performance of Maeve Binchy’s ‘Aches and Pains’ adapted by the late Shay Linehan. The stage adaptation has been described as “Maeve at her wisest, funniest, most tongue-in-cheek” and follows in the footsteps of the very successful ‘Minding Frankie’ which had its premiere at Dalkey Castle in 2013.

Saturday 5th October will see a day of discussions that will begin at 9:30am with broadcaster Olivia O’Leary giving a personal reflection on Maeve’s life and times, her journalism and fiction.

Authors Cathy Kelly, Chris Binchy, Jo Spain and Niall MacMonagle will be looking at the current landscape of writing in Ireland and will ask if contemporary writing really reflects life in Ireland today.

Many Irish writers including James Joyce and Samuel Beckett spent a large part of their careers living abroad. In ‘Home Thoughts from Abroad’ Madeleine Keane, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Mary Pat Kelly will be discussing with Caroline Erskine their own and other writers’ experiences of living abroad and how that influences their work.

Then on Saturday afternoon the talks will continue as Hazel Gaynor, Fionn Davenport and Andrea Carter will consider with Niall MacMonagle the impact that being based in Ireland has on writing and in particular if living on a small island affect our sense of community.

Just how big an influence can writing have on changing the way we live and think? Carlo Gebler, Senator Lynn Ruane, Ibrahim Halawa will look at writing as activism for communities in Ireland and the difference that it can make in society with Martin Doyle.

The day will conclude with an address by Irish Times writer Róisín Ingle and her talk entitled ‘Maeve Binchy… at Home in Ireland’.

There will also be readings from Maeve’s work by actresses Clelia Murphy and Deirdre O’Kane. A Maeve Binchy & Irish Writers Guided Walk will also take place on Sunday October 6th at 11am from Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre.

Speaking about ECHOES 2019, Margaret Dunne, Manager of Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre said “We have a fantastic programme for what is now the third edition of ECHOES. This year’s event is set to be the best yet and it will explore the concept of community in contemporary writing in Ireland. Maeve Binchy believed that shared experiences created and fostered communities and the ECHOES series of talks will explore this belief in depth. We are delighted to have such an exciting and diverse line-up of writers and we are really looking forward to what will be a fantastic weekend.”

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