Life and work of Sean O’Faolain to be explored in Rathkeale

Author Donal Ryan, who will be at the third annual Sean O'Faolain weekend which takes place in Rathkeale on October 18 and 19
THE life and work of one of Ireland’s most distinguished writers, Sean O’Faoláin, will be remembered at the third annual Sean O’Faoláin weekend which takes place in Rathkeale on October 18 and 19.

THE life and work of one of Ireland’s most distinguished writers, Sean O’Faoláin, will be remembered at the third annual Sean O’Faoláin weekend which takes place in Rathkeale on October 18 and 19.

The weekend will feature writers Donal Ryan and Fintan O’Toole, as well as local author Mike MacDomhnaill and will be officially opened by Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan.

“This is our third year hosting this event which is a joint venture between the Rathkeale Community Arts Group and the Rathkeale Historical Society,” chairwoman, Norma Prendiville said. “We also have had great input from the Ardagh Drama Society.”

“To begin with, the idea behind the weekend was to explore O’Faoláin’s links with Rathkeale and give back to people a sense of how good a writer he was,” Ms Prendiville continued. “But we are now broadening the weekend more to make it attractive to a wider audience. We see it as an event where people can come to hear good writing, to discuss interesting ideas and to have a bit of fun along the way.”

“This year we are delighted that Minister Deenihan has agreed to open the weekend. Apart altogether from his current role as Arts Minister, Minister Deenihan has a record of sterling work in remembering and honouring some of our dead writers.”

“And we are really looking forward to what Fintan O’Toole, author, columnist, broadcaster and journalist, will say on the theme of Dissent. I’m pretty sure whatever he says will spark a lively debate and will be thought-provoking.” That takes place on Friday, October 18.

Feel the Magic is an event taking place on Saturday, October 19 and will feature readings by Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and has also been nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. Mike MacDomhnall will read his award-winning short-story Uncle Ned in an evening of story and song.

A Mystery Bus Tour tracing O’Faoláin’s links with Rathkeale and featuring some of his writings will also be part of the weekend. An art exhibition featuring the paintings of Ailbhe, Ester and Louise Barrett, will be on display throughout the weekend.

For more information or bookings, the public should contact 087- 1249955 or email rathkealearts@gmail.com.