The 39th. annual Oliver Goldsmith Literary Festival kicks off this weekend with a deep exploration into Ireland’s rich history of emigration and immigration in store for audiences in south Westmeath and south Longford.
All are welcome to a series of contrasting events in Abbeyshrule, Ballymahon and Tang.
There are both free events and admission at €10 events, as well as weekend tickets covering all three days events, for €25.
FRIDAY, 2 JUNE
Dr Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History at University College, Dublin, Anna Sochańska, Ambassador of Poland to Ireland, and former RTÉ midlands correspondent, Ciarán Mullooly, will start proceedings, with the formal opening taking place at The Rustic Inn, Abbeyshrule, Co. Longford, this Friday, 2 June from 8pm.
Included will be a recital by the Innyside Singers.
SATURDAY, 3 JUNE
A series of talks, live theatre, and musical performances will take place in Ballymahon and Tang this Saturday (3 June), featuring at 11am Dr. Liam Chambers, Head of the Department of History at Mary Immaculate College, and from 12.10pm Liam O’Dwyer of the Irish Red Cross, preeminent Goldsmith scholar Professor Michael Griffin of the University of Limerick, Longford councillor Uruemu Adejinmi, acclaimed actor Michael J. Ford, musicians Tony Dunne and friends, and many more.
Events on Saturday will be in the Goldsmith Room at Ballymahon Library and, in the afternoon, Skelly’s Courtyard, Ballymahon.
One of the free events on Saturday will be at 8.30pm in The Three Jolly Pigeons, where there will be Traditional Music and a Ballad Seisiun with Tony Dunne and friends.
SUNDAY, 4 JUNE
This Sunday, 4 June, at 12 noon the popular ‘Miscellany Session’ at Goldsmith Library will hear special contributions from many well-known local speakers and writers.
At 3.30pm the winning entrants of the heavily subscribed Goldsmith children and adult poetry competitions will be announced at Poetry in Pallas in the afternoon, adjudicated by award- winning poets Gerard Smyth of The Irish Times and Mary Melvin Geoghegan.
More information on the Festival programme, tickets, and this year’s theme – ‘Citizens of the World: Ireland’s Emigrants and Immigrants – is available on the Festival website, olivergoldsmithfestival.com