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Stellar Line-up Confirmed for Ennis Book Club Festival

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Derek Flynn

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Man Booker Prize nominee Niall Williams, former politician Des O’Malley, Eason Novel of the Year winner Mary Costello, crime novelists Val McDermid and Paul Carson and multi award-winning short story writer Colin Barrett will join a host of internationally renowned figures at the Ennis Book Club Festival 2015 in County Clare from March 6th-8th.

The 2015 Festival Programme was launched today (Tuesday, 20 January 2015) and features author visits, readings, lectures and workshops in various venues.

Supported by Clare County Council, Clare County Library and The Arts Council, the three-day programme of events is expected to attract an estimated 3,000 Book Club members and literary enthusiasts from all over Ireland, Europe and North America.

Contributors include novelist and playwright Niall Williams, who was named on the longlist for The Man Booker Prize 2014; novelist Mary Costello, who received the Eason Novel of the Year honour for her novel ‘Academy Street’; short story writer Colin Barrett, who won the 2014 Guardian First Book Award, 2014 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award; Michael Smith, author of the only biography of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton; Seán Rocks, presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s Arena programme; and crime novelist Val McDermid.

The theme of this year’s Sunday Symposium in Glór is ‘The Naked Politician’, which will feature a panel discussion about life as a politician in Ireland today. Panellists include Des O’Malley, former PD leader; Professor Gary Murphy, Political Scientist at DCU; Mick Clifford, Correspondent for The Irish Examiner; and Katie Hannon; Political Correspondent for RTE.

The Festival’s “Ones to Watch” session will feature Sara Baume, Nuala Ní Chonchúir and Colin Barrett who are on track to be national and international literary sensations.

This year’s Festival also features a “Literary Lunch” on Saturday and Sunday starting with some of Ireland’s favourite poets, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Peter Fallon and Michael Coady. The Sunday lunch features Natasha Fennell and Irish Times journalist Róisín Ingle, co-authors of The Daughterhood.

There will be a talk by professional genealogist John Grenham about genealogy, while Denis Sampson about his new memoir (‘A Migrant Heart’) of growing up in East Clare and living in Canada.

Elsewhere, Joe O’Connor, award-winning novelist; and Evelyn O’Rourke, RTE reporter and author of Dear Ross: An Amazing True Story of Love and Survival, will be shedding light on ’10 Books You Should Read’ on Saturday morning. (March 7th).

The Festival will be officially opened on Friday 6th March followed by Catalpa, performed by actor Donal O Kelly.

“The Festival will not only serve and reflect the reading passions of many in the country, but will provide a significant boost to the local economy,” commented Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.

“I would like to congratulate the Festival Organising Committee for securing the participation of numerous high profile contributors. I also want to acknowledge the support being provided this year by Clare County Council and Clare County Library,” added Cllr. Crowe.

Liz Kelly, Festival Curator says she believes that the 2015 Programme offers the “perfect mix of poetry, politics and fiction.”

“Book Clubs from all over are invited to get together in Ennis to share their joy of reading, to meet authors, to discuss books and to have a weekend break with friends,” she said.

“We love meeting other book club members and book lovers and comparing notes. We want to meet the writers to hear about their work and to hear about what they like to read. We want to get ideas for reading lists and tips on approaching new material. Most of all we want to celebrate reading,” added Ms. Kelly.

Ticket details will go on sale at Glór, Ennis, Co. Clare, and from www.glor.ie from Monday January 26th. Further details on the Ennis Book Club Festival 2015 are available from www.ennisbookclubfestival.com. Alternatively email liz@ennisbookclubfestival.com.

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