Limerick Literary Festival

The festival, formerly known as The Kate O’Brien Weekend, began in 1984 to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Limerick-born Kate O’Brien. The event continues to celebrate the life and works of the author, while attracting prominent participants from all over the world. It is an inspiring mix of both discourse and discussion.

This year’s theme is “Imagination”. We are using a quote from Kate O’Brien’s novel Without My Cloak – “Wherever you go the most of life will have to happen in your mind”-

We are, once again, presenting the Kate O’Brien Award to best novel/short story collection by a debut Irish female writer.

Earlier on Friday February 21st, in association with City Library, The Granary, we are delighted to welcome poet and novelist Catherine Phil MacCarthy, and at lunch time, in association with The Hunt Museum, actor and story teller Kathy Rose O’Brien, Kate O’Brien’s grandniece, who will discuss curating the Kate O’Brien exhibition at the Museum of Literature Ireland. Also on Friday, a workshop with Lisa Harding for creative writers will take place at the Belltable.

On Saturday, in Dance Limerick Space, we welcome Soviet Limerick producer Liam Cahill, author of The Forgotten Revolution, novelist Christine Dwyer Hickey, literary agent Jo Unwin, authors Sarah Davis Goff, Dan Mooney, Clíona ní Ríordáin : editor and professor at Sorbonne Paris 3, Limerick born writer Paul Lynch, English novelist Andrew Miller, poet and broadcaster John Kelly and arts administrator and author David Barrie.

On Sunday, in the Belltable, we welcome Professor Emerita Patricia Coughlan and Ireland’s Laureate Na Nóg and novelist Sarah Crossan. This will be followed by the Kate O’Brien Award presentation and our Desert Island Books where director and actor Gerry Stembridge and bibliotherapist and author Ella Berthoud will reveal their choice of 5 books to carry to a Desert Island. Finally, distinguished Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter Roddy Doyle will bookend this packed 2020 Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O’Brien.

We hope you will enjoy the 2020 festival, which celebrates writers, artists, books and readers.