What's On

Exhibition: Friday 9 February - Wednesday 28 March, 10am to 5pm daily, free of charge
Guided Tour: Saturday 3 March, 11.45am, free of charge

Modern Ruins and Other Stories by Kenneth O’Halloran

presented by glór in association with The Gallery of Photography

Launches Friday 2 March with Ennis Book Club Festival 2018

glór with The Gallery of Photography is delighted to present an exhibition of work by Clare photographer, Kenneth O’Halloran. O’Halloran, now based in Dublin, was born in Corofin and was shortlisted for the 2017 Hennessy Portrait Prize.

O’Halloran’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Sunday Times, Stern, Le Monde, TIME, GEO, The Financial Times and Cosmopolitan. His work has been recognised by World Press, American Photography, Alliance Française, and the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. He is also a winner of the Terry O’Neill Photography award.

Modern Ruins and Other Stories will showcase a snapshot of life in rural Clare, poignantly documenting key events in the cycle of life. 

A Guided Tour led by the Artist will take place on Saturday 3 March at 11.45am. Free of charge and all welcome.

Friday 2 March, 11am, Free of charge

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was born in 1942 in Cork, she is an Emeritus Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and currently Ireland Professor of Poetry (2016-19). She has published and edited academic articles and books on the literature of the English Renaissance, on translation, and on Irish writing in both Irish and English. With her husband Macdara Woods, the late Leland Bardwell and the late Pearse Hutchinson, she is, since 1975, a founder and co-editor of the Irish poetry journal Cyphers. She has published eight collections of poetry over 45 years, and her Selected Poems appeared in 2008, published by Gallery Press in Ireland, Wake Forest University Press in America and Faber in Britain. The Sun-Fish, her seventh collection, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and won the Griffin International Prize for poetry in 2010; The Boys of Bluehill was published in 2015 by Gallery Press, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize, and the Irish Times Poetry Now Award.

Friday 2 March, 2pm at the Temple Gate Hotel, free of charge

How to Read A Novel: Mary Morrissy discusses Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s The Dancer’s Dancing

Novel in focus: Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s The Dancer’s Dancing

Do you want to enhance your general reading experience? Improve your ability to read and navigate your way through a novel to get the most out of it? Award-winning novelist Mary Morrissy guides you through the reading of a novel, going beyond plot, to explore the bigger picture – theme, character, voice, narrative arc and structure. In other words - how a novel is made. After this session, we hope you will be a better reader of novels – for your own pleasure, or for your book clubs too.

This event is kindly supported by Clare County Library Services.

Mary Morrissy is the author of three novels, Mother of Pearl, The Pretender and The Rising of Bella Casey and two collections of stories, A Lazy Eye and most recently, Prosperity Drive

Mother of Pearl, her first novel, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award (now Costa) and The Pretender and The Rising of Bella Casey have both been nominated for the Dublin Impac International Literary Award. Her short fiction has been anthologised widely and won her a Hennessy Award in 1984. In 1995 she was awarded the prestigious US Lannan Award which honours writers whose work “is of exceptional quality”. She is Associate Director of Creative Writing at University College Cork and a member of Aosdána. 

Friday 2 March, 2pm, €5
Film amd Ruth Fitzmaurice Book Club Favourite event at 4pm, €15/€14

It’s Not Yet Dark

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2018

Dir: Frankie Fenton
Ireland  |  2017  |  80 mins

It’s Not Yet Dark tells the ground breaking story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a talented young Irish film maker with MND, as he embarks on directing his first feature film through the use of his eyes and eye gaze technology.

Simon Fitzmaurice died in October 2017, only two weeks after the film’s release.

Friday 2nd March, 4pm, €12/€10 conc
Ticket for It's Not Yet Dark screening at 2pm + event, €15/€14 conc.

Book Club Favourite - Ruth Fitzmaurice – I Found My Tribe - in conversation with Mick Heaney

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2018

An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life by a wonderful writer.

'One of the year’s most arresting, humbling and acute memoirs. It is a catch-in-the-throat, life-affirming work that you want to gulp down in one and recommend to all your friends. Fitzmaurice tells her story in sparkling prose that is as sinewy as her new sea-strengthened body, and as admirable and boundless as her spirit.'  - Sunday Times

Friday 2 March at the Front Bar, Queens Hotel, 6.30pm, €5

The Irish Times Book Club with June Caldwell

We’re delighted to welcome back Books Editor of The Irish Times, Martin Doyle, to the EBCF. Martin will be speaking to the author of the Irish Times March Book Club Choice June Caldwell about her much lauded debut Room Little Darker which has recently received its UK release from publisher Head of Zeus.

‘The roar of fury and clarity that Irish fiction has been needing. You haven’t read anything like this before... Just brilliant.’ – Belinda McKeon

Friday 2 March at Scéal Eile, 6.30pm, free of charge

Gerard Hanberry - On Raglan Road: Great Irish Love Songs and the Women Who Inspired Them

Gerard Hanberry will talk about the wonderful women who inspired some of Ireland’s finest love-songs. The talk is based on his recently published book On Raglan Road – Great Irish Love Songs and the Women Who Inspired Them (The Collins Press). Who exactly was Grace Gifford, the young woman who married Joseph Plunkett hours before his execution in 1916? Who is the real ‘Galway Girl’ and was there ever such a person as ‘Nancy Spain’? Who was the woman who enchanted Patrick Kavanagh when he saw her for the first time on ‘Raglan Road on an autumn day’?

Friday 2 March, 8pm, €12/€10 conc

Crime Night with Liz Nugent, Julie Parsons & Andrea Carter – chaired by Clare FM’s Gavin Grace

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2018

Liz Nugent, Julie Parsons & Andrea Carter are at the forefront of a new wave of crime writing in Ireland. Join us for readings and discussion of their by turns eclectic, thrilling, and intriguing novels.

Liz Nugent worked for many years in Irish film, theatre and television. Her two novels Unravelling Oliver and Lying in Wait were both bestsellers. An Irish Book Awardee, her third novel appears later this year.

A former solicitor, Andrea Carter is the author of three novels, Death at Whitewater Church, Treacherous Strand, and The Well of Ice. All concern an inquisitive solicitor named Ben O’Keeffe and are set in the fictional town of Glendara, on the Inishowen Peninsula, Co Donegal.

Julie Parsons was born in New Zealand but has lived most of her life in Ireland. She was a radio and TV producer with RTE until her first novel Mary, Mary was published in 1998. It was an immediate critical and commercial success and was translated into many languages and published in the USA. She followed it up with The Courtship Gift (1999), Eager to Please(2002), The Guilty Heart ( 2003), The Hourglass  (2005), I Saw You (2007). Her most recent novel The Therapy House published this year has just been awarded Crime Fiction Book of the Year in the Irish Book Awards 2017. She adapted The Guilty Heart for a 5 part TV series for RTE radio and has written two radio plays "The Sweet Scent of Cigarette Smoke" and "The Serpent Beguiled Me". She is married and lives in Dun Laoghaire.

Friday 2 March at the Temple Gate Hotel, 10pm, €8

Festival Club Readings with Sally Rooney & Mary Morrissy

The Friday night Festival Club at the Temple Gate means mingling and performances by writers Sally Rooney and Mary Morrissy.

Sally Rooney’s debut novel, Conversations with Friends, has been published to wide popular and critical acclaim. Her novel recently featured in the New York Review of Books.

Mary Morrissy is an award-winning Irish novelist and short story writer, and the author of three novels, Mother of Pearl, The Pretender and The Rising of Bella Casey, and two collections of short stories, A Lazy Eye and Prosperity Drive.

This event is kindly supported by the Irish Writers Union.

Saturday 3 March, 9.30am, €8

Walking Tour with Jane O’Brien

Jane O’Brien is the director and tour guide for Ennis Walking Tours, a company that has been running very popular guided walking tours of Ennis for a number of years.

Winner of the FBD Clare Business Excellence Award for Best Tourism Initiative in Clare and praised by Lonely Planet as the best way to appreciate the town, Jane’s lively and entertaining tours through the winding streets of medieval Ennis reveal the stories and characters that have shaped the town’s history.

Saturday 3 March at the Rowan Tree Café, 9.30am, €10/€8

Books & Buns Quiz

Enjoy a Saturday morning book club gathering and test your knowledge of all things literary in our beloved Books & Buns session. Refreshments included setting you up for a busy day!

Saturday 3 March, 11.30am, €12/€10 conc

10 Books You Should Read: Jane Urquhart & Carlo Gebler chaired by Katy Hayes

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2018

A firm festival favourite – 10 Books never disappoints. This year we’ve invited writer and journalist Katy Hayes to chair our authors’ passionate recommendations. Not to be missed.

Jane Urquhart is a poet and novelist. Her best-selling and prize winning books include: The Stone Carvers, The Whirlpool, which won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, Away won the Trillium Award and was shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and The Underpainter won Canada’s The Governor General's Award

Carlo Gébler’s most recent publications are The Projectionist, The Story of Ernest Gébler, The Wing Orderly’s Tales, a collection of stories told by a prison orderly, and The Innocent of Falkland Road, a novel set in London in the 1960s.  He teaches at Trinity and the American College, Dublin, and is a member of Aosdana.

Katy Hayes writes novels, short stories, plays and journalism. Her novels include Gossip and Lindbergh's Legacy. She wrote the libretto for Siobhán Cleary's Vampirella, a new opera produced last year based on the work of Angela Carter. She is a Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at University College Dublin, where she teaches on the MA and undergraduate programmes. She is the Irish film critic with The Sunday Times and the theatre critic with the Irish Independent.

Saturday 3 March, 1pm, free of charge

Clare Youth Theatre in performance

Clare Youth Theatre’s performances at the EBCF are an annual treat: they will present selections from guest authors and dramatise them in their own inimitable way.

Clare Youth Theatre, under the direction of Theatre Artist Eleanor Feely, is an initiative of the Clare County Arts Office. The Theatre has a unique artistic vision that is committed to the artistic, personal and social development of the young person.

Saturday 3 March at the Maguire Suite, Old Ground Hotel, 2pm, free of charge

New Clare Voices: Liz Price, Karen McDonnell & Joe Queally

Ennis Book Club Festival is delighted to support and introduce local Clare writers through the New Clare Voices event. This year the writers include, Joe Queally, Liz Price and Karen McDonnell.

Joe Queally is the author of The Fanore School Case, and the book explores ‘one of the most bizarre episodes in the history of Irish Education’ which took place in Fanore in County Clare in 1914. Joe includes a wide range of sources in his research from court records to oral histories and provides a detailed account of what actually happened.

Karen McDonnell is a Clare based poet. She will read from her debut poetry collection, This Little World.

Liz Price is a short story writer, originally from Dublin but living in Clare for the past twenty years. Liz will read from her first collection of short stories, The Fish Woman And Other Stories.

Saturday 3 March at the Temple Gate Hotel, 2pm, €10

How To Run Your Book Club Better

Mary O’Donnell, Roisin Meaney & Nuala Ní Chonchúir

Our expert panel of writers and readers, and book club members Mary O’Donnell, Roisin Meaney & Nuala Ní Chonchúir discuss ways in which you can run your book club better, and get the most out of your meetings. They welcome your questions, and queries on the day, and will present an informal and fun afternoon of book club do’s and don’ts.

Mary O’Donnell is a novelist, short story writer and poet. She has written two collections of stories as well as four novels, among them the highly praised Where They Lie (2014) and The Elysium Testament (1999). Her best-selling debut novel The Light Makers was recently reissued by 451 Editions. A full critical volume of essays on her work, Giving Shape to the Moment: the Art of Mary O’Donnell, Poet, Short-story writer, Novelist, will be published in 2018. Her seventh poetry collection, Those April Fevers, was published in 2015 (Arc Publications). Her Selected poems, The Place of Miracles appeared in 2005, and The Ark Builders in 2009. Former presenter of the RTE poetry translation programme “Crossing the Lines”, she also teaches Creative Writing and gives talks and lectures on writing, writers, and the life they have chosen. In 2001 she was elected to Aosdana.

In 2001 Roisin Meaney (Kerry born, Limerick based, roots in Clare courtesy of parents) took a year off primary teaching and travelled to San Francisco to write The Daisy Picker, which won a two book publishing deal with Tivoli Books. In 2008, with four published novels under her belt, she gave up the day job to write fulltime. To date she is the author of fourteen adult novels and two children’s books, and her works have been translated into several languages. Selected books have also been published in Australia and the US. She is currently working on the next, which is scheduled to hit the shelves in June 2018.

Nuala O’Connor also known as Nuala Ní Chonchúir was born in Dublin, she lives in East Galway. Her fifth short story collection Joyride to Jupiter was published by New Island in 2017; her story 'Consolata' from that collection is shortlisted for Short Story of the Year at the 2017 Irish Book Awards. Penguin USA, Penguin Canada and Sandstone (UK) published Nuala’s third novel, Miss Emily, about the poet Emily Dickinson and her Irish maid. Miss Emily was shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Eason Book Club Novel of the Year 2015 and longlisted for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award. Nuala’s fourth novel, Becoming Belle, will be published in 2018.

Saturday 3 March at Record Break, 3.15pm, free of charge

Wild Atlantic Poets - Readings by members of the Clare Poetry Collective

Readings from recently published works by members of the Poetry Collective of County Clare; including, Patrick Stack Rage, Karen McDonnell This Little World, Martin Vernon The Birth and the Cry, Knute Skinner Against All Odds, Frank Golden Gotta Get a Message to You, Arthur Watson Spirit Store and Mary Ellen Fean Driftwood.

Saturday 3 March, 3.30pm, €12/€10 conc.

John Connolly in Conversation with Rick O’Shea with special screenings

presented by Ennis Book Club Festival in Association with the Rick O’Shea Book Club

Join us for a special event in which bestselling novelist John Connolly will discuss his new novel he with Rick O’Shea.

he is an extraordinary reimagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved, and was loved in turn; who betrayed, and was betrayed; who never sought to cause pain to others, yet left a trail of affairs and broken marriages in his wake; and whose life was ultimately defined by one bond of such tenderness and devotion that only death could sever it:  his partnership with Oliver Hardy, the man he knew as Babe.

With he, John Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity, the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists, and one of the most enduring and beloved partnerships in cinema history: Laurel & Hardy.

John Connolly was born in Dublin in 1968.  He is the author of almost 30 books, including the Charlie Parker mystery series, The Book of Lost Things, and he.  He divides his time between Dublin and Maine, and is mostly kind to animals, old people and small children.

Rick O’Shea is a well-known broadcaster. He also run the largest on-line book-club in Ireland with over 10,000 members, and counting.

This special event will include screenings of two Laurel and Hardy films.

Saturday 3 March at Temple Gate Hotel, 5pm, €10

Darach Ó Séaghdha discusses Motherfoclóir: Dispatches From a Not So Dead Language

Darach’s book, Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a not so dead language is an Irish Book Award winner and tells the personal story of a man’s relationship with his language, his country and his Dad, relationships as complicated as the Modh Coinníollach. Darach believes that social media can be a positive force for learning, storytelling and organising.

He tweets @theirishfor.

Saturday 3 March, 8pm, €15/€12 conc

A tribute to Sebastian Barry with Sean Rocks and special guests

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2018

Saturday night at Ennis Book Club Festival means the welcome and popular return of Sean Rocks. In a very special event, we pay tribute to surely one of Ireland’s greatest living writers in Sebastian Barry. A panel of special guests will discuss the work of the celebrated poet, playwright and novelist in the first half, and after a short interval, Sean will be joined on stage by Sebastian for an intimate and unmissable interview.

Sebastian Barry is the only novelist to have won the coveted Costa best novel award twice. Days Without End is described by the Financial Times as “not only a story of survival [but] a love story, too, written in a gorgeous style that blends Barry’s characteristic eloquence with the straight-talk of early America … firmly in the tradition of Irish diaspora writing”. For Eoin McNamee in The Irish Times, “Barry is the most humane of writers.” He has twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his novels A Long Long Way (2005) and The Secret Scripture (2008) which has since been made into a movie by Jim Sheridan.

Early booking advisable.

Saturday 3 March at Rowan Tree Café, 10.30pm, free of charge

Festival Club with Trad Session

Join us for some traditional music at the Festival Club at the Rowan Tree Café. We are delighted to host Pat O’Connor, a fiddle player from Feakle in East Clare. His music has the moderate pace and easy flow associated with the East Clare tradition. He is immersed in traditional music and performs locally, as well as at concerts and sessions in America and Japan. He also gives fiddle playing lessons and has compiled many albums, the latest of which is Conversation at the Crossroad.

Sunday 4 March, 10.30am, €8

Walking Tour with Jane O’Brien

Walking Tour with Jane O’Brien

Jane O’Brien is the director and tour guide for Ennis Walking Tours, a company that has been running very popular guided walking tours of Ennis for a number of years.

Winner of the FBD Clare Business Excellence Award for Best Tourism Initiative in Clare and praised by Lonely Planet as the best way to appreciate the town, Jane’s lively and entertaining tours through the winding streets of medieval Ennis reveal the stories and characters that have shaped the town’s history.

Sunday 4 March, 11.30am, €12/€10 conc.

Sunday Miscellany

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2018

This year for the very first time Sunday Miscellany comes to the EBCF for a special recording of the iconic Sunday morning radio show. With contributions from new and established writers alike, Sunday Miscellany has been a part of Sunday mornings since 1968. Expect magical readings, and music that will transport you.

Sunday 4 March at Old Ground Hotel, 1.30pm, €22 (includes lunch)

Literary Lunch with Mary Kenny

in conversation with Ciana Campbell

Join us for a unique lunch of stories, debate, and chat with Mary Kenny. Mary has been a journalist, writer and broadcaster for over four decades. She has written for over 30 newspapers and magazines in London and Dublin and has published many books, including Goodbye to Catholic Ireland and Crown & Shamrock: Love and Hate between Ireland and the British Monarchy. A ‘selective memory’ biography, Something of Myself was published in 2013, and New Island published Am I a Feminist? in October, 2017.

Sunday 4 March at Temple Gate Hotel, 3.30pm, free of charge

The Beyond Borders Book Club

The Beyond Borders Book Club has been an exciting and inaugural initiative devised by Artistic Director, Paul Perry and facilitated by poet and community activist Sarah Clancy to include and showcase an international dimension and flavour of readers in Co. Clare. Expect a diverse and accessible discussion of literature from all corners of the world. We will hear from Carlos Navotka, Margreat Khalil, Małgorzata Buchalik, Ifeoma Ugwueru, about books from Argentina, Egypt, Poland, and Nigeria.

Thursday 22 November, 8pm, €18/€16 conc.

Michael Harding: On Tuesdays I’m a Buddhist

presented in association with Ennis Book Club Festival

Join best-selling writer and raconteur Michael Harding as he reads from his latest memoir, ruminates on the difference between psychotherapy and religion, and relates the story of his pilgrimage to Skellig Michael, in his ongoing search for meaning.

Harding’s latest attempt to find meaning in life is searingly honest, funny and self-deprecating” The Irish Times
a spell-binding and powerful book about the human condition, the narratives we weave around the self, and the ultimate bliss of living in the present moment.” Books.ie