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Edna O’Brien confirmed for Limerick Literary Festival

edna obrienA star-studded line up of participants has been confirmed for the 2015 Limerick Literary Festival, held annually in honour of Limerick-born novelist and playwright Kate O’Brien.

Taking place from February 20th to February 22nd, this year’s festival features author visits, readings, lectures and panel discussions at 69 O’Connell St (formerly The Belltable) and The Lime Tree Theatre at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick City.

Festival organisers today unveiled a programme that features Edna O’Brien, novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet, short story writer and author of ‘The Country Girls’, as well as Man Booker Prize nominee Niall Williams, Poet, novelist, short-story writer and essayist Mary O’Donnell, poet John Montague, novelist Audrey Magee, and UL Frank McCourt Chair in Creative Writing Joseph O’Connor.

Other contributors to the three-day festival include Niall Mc Monagle, poet and Editor of ‘Poetry Now’; Órfhlaith Foyle, short story writer; Pamela Cahill, travel writer; Dr Eimear O’Connor, Research Associate with the Irish Art Research Centre at Trinity College; Nick Barlay, novelist and short-story writer; Seán Rocks, presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s Arena programme; Dr Carolin Magennis, Lecturer in 20th and 21st Century Literature at the University of Salford; Elizabeth Wassel, author; and Dr Eugene O’Brien, Head of the Department of English Language & Literature in Mary Immaculate College.

Meanwhile, this year’s festival has been extended to include an all-day conference in Mary Immaculate College on the theme of “Loss in Irish writing”, which is open and free to the public. The inaugural Kate O’Brien Award will also be presented to the most popular Irish author.

“The Festival began in 1984 to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Kate O’Brien. The event continues to celebrate the life and works of the Limerick writer, while attracting prominent participants from all over the world,” commented Sheila Deegan, Limerick Arts Officer and Festival Committee member.

The Limerick Literary Festival continues to grow in ambition as evidenced by the introduction of the ‘Literature of Loss’ conference is to this year’s programme. We look forward to welcoming even greater numbers of literary enthusiasts to Limerick, especially on foot of the wonderful turnout at the 2014 weekend, which was complemented by a hugely successful Limerick City of Culture year” said Ms. Deegan.

The festival will be opened on Friday 20th February at 7p.m. by acclaimed author Joseph O’Connor in 69 O’Connell Street. It will be followed by ‘As Music and Splendour’ recital, which this year features Limerick soprano Sarah Dolan and Collete Davis, who is regarded one of Ireland’s most after accompanists and repetiteurs.

On Saturday 21st February, the Festival welcomes poet and short story writer Órfhlaith Foyle, novelist and memoirist Nick Barlay, author Elizabeth Wassell, the distinguish poet John Montague in conversation with Niall MacMonagle, Booker long-listed Niall Williams, best-selling author Audrey Magee, and poet and novelist Mary O’Donnell.

On Sunday 21nd February, freelance writer and blogger Pamela Cahill will present Kate O’Brien’s Spain, while art historian Éimear O’Connor will give an illustrated talk on Limerick artist Séan Keating. The programme concludes at The Lime Tree Theatre with internationally renowned Irish novelist Edna O’Brien in conversation with RTE’s Séan Rocks.

The Limerick Literary Festival, previously called the Kate O’Brien Weekend, is organised by the Kate O’Brien Committee and sponsored by The Arts Council, Limerick City and County Council, University of Limerick, No. 1 Pery Square, O’Mahony’s Booksellers, Lawless Flowers, Country Choice, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Leahy & Partners Solicitors.

For a full listing of all events and booking details visit http://www.limerickliteraryfestival.com. Booking for tickets can be made at the Lime Tree Theatre or at 69 O’Connell Street. Box office: 061-774774 or online at http://www.limetreetheatre.ie. Tickets are also available for purchase at the door for individual session.

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