A Diary of Doneraile: Until next year...

This time last week Caroline and I were leaving work and heading off to Doneraile! A puncture and a wheel change later, we arrived at Creagh Castle for the launch of the Doneraile Literary and Arts Festival 2011. The festival's come-back weekend was a wonderful mix of poetry, prose, drama, song and storytelling, made extra special by the locals' over-and-above hospitality.

Until next year, enjoy some pictures...

Caroline with Billy Keane, who launched the festival on
the Friday night

Donncha O'Dulaing with festival committee member, Ciaran
Doyle. Donncha showed archive footage of Doneraile on the
Friday night & gave a wonderful lecture on Elizabeth Bowen
on the Saturday before jetting off back to Dublin for
Fáilte Isteach on RTÉ Radio 1!
Michael D. with Chairperson of the festival Diarmuid Hudner.
Michael D. was interviewed at the festival by Mattie Lennon.
His new poetry collection, New and Selected Poems was also
launched as part of the festival programme by fellow poet
Gabriel Fitzmaurice.

Caroline and Alice's tremendous hosts, Myra and Ray with
Michael D.

Paul Soye reading from The Boy In The Gap.
Paul Soye's event consisted of a reading by the author
himself plus a stage reading by two actors. Stephen played
Jack Sammon, The Boy In The Gap's main character, while
Orlaith played Alice, Jack's wife.
Paul Soye celebrates with actors
 Orlaith and Stephen after the event.

Ulick O'Connor regaled the audience at Creagh Castle with
recitals of his own poetry along with riveting stories from his times
with Patrick Kavanagh and Brendan Behan.

Michael D. with fellow poet Ulick O'Connor
Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2010 winner
Leanne O'Sullivan created a pin-drop silence in
Creagh Castle as she read her breathtakingly beautiful
poems. A rare and real treat.

The next morning locals Heather and Cal showed us the sights and
shared some of Doneraile's history.

Other events included: a talk on Canon Sheehan by Mary Leland; a lecture by Dr Andrew King on Edmund Spenser; a poetry reading with Gabriel Fitzmaurice; a reading with Gayle Walsh; a presentation of Children's Awards by Pauline Devine and Kieran Mark Crowley; a classical concert by the Degani Ensemble; and much more!

All in all, a rich, varied and fabulous weekend! Not to be missed next year!