Borris House festival: Pink Floyd star and wife to wax lyrical

Guitarist David Gilmour and novelist Polly Sampson give first joint interview

Historians, novelists, journalists, film-makers, poets, war correspondents, biographers, artists and political commentators gathered at the Festival of Writing and Ideas at Borris House Co. Carlow over the weekend. Video: Bryan O'Brien


The Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas is only four years old, but today hosts a notable literary exclusive.

The first public interview involving Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and his wife, the novelist Polly Sampson, takes place in the grounds of Borris House, the beautifully located stately home in the shadow of the Blackstairs Mountains and Mount Leinster in Co Carlow.

Sampson, an accomplished and successful novelist, has understandably shied away from being professionally associated with her husband, given his status as one of the most famous guitarists in the world and member of Pink Floyd.

Writing lyrics

The Endless River

Gilmour and Sampson aside, the Borris festival has assembled a world-class line-up of writers, including the novelist Ian McEwan, the philosopher AC Grayling, the Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours, which was made into a successful film, and the military historian Antony Beevor.

Lawns and tents

Local accommodation is scarce, especially as the only hotel in town has two weddings on this weekend. The walled gardens of the house have eight temporary pods for visitors to stay in.

During a discussion yesterday on the Military Pensions Archives, which were released last year, UCD professor of history Diarmaid Ferriter revealed that the stories and detail they contain may now be turned into a television documentary.