Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival: words on the water

Joseph O’Connor, Niamh Boyce, John Boyne, Anne Griffin, Rosita Boland and Donal Ryan are taking part

Pictured at the opening night of the 2018 Dromineer Literary Festival were local author Julian Gough, interviewer Rick O’Shea, novelist Lisa Harding and Dromineer Literary Festival chairperson Geraldine McNulty. Photograph: Odhran Ducie

Pictured at the opening night of the 2018 Dromineer Literary Festival were local author Julian Gough, interviewer Rick O’Shea, novelist Lisa Harding and Dromineer Literary Festival chairperson Geraldine McNulty. Photograph: Odhran Ducie

 

The birth of the Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival in 2004 really was a result of “when two worlds collide”!

Lamenting the end of summer activity on Lough Derg, and desiring to have something to look forward to, a group of local thespians heard that the newly arrived arts officer, Melanie Scott, was developing a strategy for festivals in the county. The two groups got together and with funding from the Arts Council, Tipperary Co Council and independent local sponsors the first festival took place in Dromineer in 2004. Venues included the Sail Inn hotel, Neddy’s Cottage, the Whiskey Still and the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club still regard its ties with the festival as a significant part of their outreach to the community.

Over the years the festival grew in size and reputation. Guests have included national and international poets and writers of fiction. Competitions in poetry and flash fiction attracted entries from all over the world, and a children’s poetry competition receives a huge response every year. The festival features a launch party which provides emerging writers with a platform for their work.

Geraldine McNulty (chairperson, Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival) and poet John W Sexton pictured ahead of his presentation of his new work An Ormond Aisling in Steeples Cafe, Nenagh as part of Culture Night 2019. Photograph: Odhran Ducie
Geraldine McNulty (chairperson, Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival) and poet John W Sexton pictured ahead of his presentation of his new work An Ormond Aisling in Steeples Cafe, Nenagh as part of Culture Night 2019. Photograph: Odhran Ducie
Dromineer on the shores of Lough Derg. Photograph: Odhran Ducie
Dromineer on the shores of Lough Derg. Photograph: Odhran Ducie

The committee has developed great working partnerships with the Library Service, Nenagh Arts Centre, Conradh na Gaeilge, Waterways Ireland, Creative Ireland and Tipperary Arts Office. When the Sail Inn hotel closed in Dromineer the festival moved into venues in Nenagh. To reflect the growth of the festival and the increasing support of businesses in the town the committee decided this year to rebrand the festival and it has now become the Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival.

Lough Derg and the Yacht Club still provide the inspirational setting for workshops for students and adults. One of the highlights of every festival is the event held on board the Qu-Ee-Tu when skipper, Teddy Knight, takes us out on Lough Derg for a reading afloat. The wonderfully preserved historical centre of Nenagh provides us with atmospheric venues like the 800-year-old Nenagh Castle, and this year sees us use the Heritage Centre which was the former house of the Governor of the County Gaol to host a reading of great local interest.

We now have events taking place throughout the weekend around the town with cafe trails, lunchtime theatre, historical walks, meditation, children’s workshops, culminating each night with our guest authors and interviewers in the Nenagh Arts Centre. The committee has very successfully developed a writer in residence programme which has become a very important part of the festival. This year’s writer in residence, John W Sexton, has been working with a group of local people gathering stories and turning them into performance pieces. Come and hear their debut in the Yacht Club in Dromineer on Saturday afternoon.

Pictured ahead of the Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival launch in Nenagh Book Shop were Geraldine McNulty , John and Catherine Ryan (Nenagh Book Shop), Geraldine Cronin and Margaret Kennedy. Photograph: Odhran Ducie
Pictured ahead of the Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival launch in Nenagh Book Shop were Geraldine McNulty , John and Catherine Ryan (Nenagh Book Shop), Geraldine Cronin and Margaret Kennedy. Photograph: Odhran Ducie
Poet John W Sexton reading from his new work An Ormond Aisling in Steeples Cafe, Nenagh as part of Culture Night 2019. In the background is a painting by local artist Josephine Geaney. Photograph: Odhran Ducie
Poet John W Sexton reading from his new work An Ormond Aisling in Steeples Cafe, Nenagh as part of Culture Night 2019. In the background is a painting by local artist Josephine Geaney. Photograph: Odhran Ducie

In keeping with our logo, Creativity Connection Community, the committee aims to nourish and develop its links with local people and businesses while attracting visitors to the area by providing interesting, stimulating and entertaining events for young and old to enjoy. We have developed a reputation on the literary circuit for running a well organised, warm, intimate festival. Writers and performers feel they are being celebrated and appreciated. The festival is what it is today because of the continued local support and enthusiasm for the hard work of the volunteer committee who continue to run the festival. Over the years the chairpersons included: Tom O’Donoghue, Pat Kelly, Paul O’Dwyer, Eleanor Hooker, and today Geraldine McNulty is chairperson/curator.

This year is our biggest festival to date running from October 1st to 6th. Highlights will include readings and discussions with brilliant writers such as Joseph O’Connor, Niamh Boyce, John Boyne, Anne Griffin, Rosita Boland and of course local man Donal Ryan. There is a full weekend’s entertainment for all the family so join us to celebrate autumn and listen, interact, engage and be stimulated by our wonderful line up.
Find out more at www.dnlf.ie

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.