by Alan Owens
LONG serving Limerick politician Des O’Malley will speak about his life and political career as part of the Limerick Literary Festival this weekend.
O’Malley, who published his memoir Conduct Unbecoming last year, will appear in 69 O’Connell Street at 3pm on Saturday, just one of many events taking place for the festival, held annually in honour of Limerick author Kate O’Brien.
The former Minister for Justice was added to the bill as a result of the sudden cancellation by poet John Montague, who has had unexpected surgery. His wife Elizabeth Wassell is not travelling either, a spokesperson explained.
Poet Martin Dyar and Niall MacMonagle, in conversation with two actresses, Ingrid Craigie and Cathy Belton, have been moved into Saturday’s reshuffled line-up as a result.
Edna O’Brien, the doyenne of Irish literature, will be the special guest at the festival, appearing in conversation with Sean Rocks of RTE’s Arena in the Lime Tree Theatre on Sunday morning.
The Country Girls author was slated to attend the festival last year, but had to pull out due to illness. Happily, she will appear this year in a key event for the festival, which was re-named from the Kate O’Brien weekend during City of Culture last year.
Man Booker Prize nominee Niall Williams, poet and essayist Mary O’Donnell, novelist Audrey Magee and UL Frank McCourt Chair in Creative Writing Joseph O’Connor, will all also appear.
An all-day conference in Mary Immaculate College on the theme of ‘Loss in Irish writing’, will take place and is free and open to the public.
Soprano Sarah Dolan and Collete Davis will perform at Friday’s opening in 69 O’Connell Street.
See www.limerickliteraryfestival.com for full details.