Literature making waves by the seaside
IT WAS the inspiration for Maeve Binchy's second novel 'Echoes' but also the scene where many a moral code was abandoned.
Ballybunion may be better known for its bachelor festivals but this weekend the seaside town celebrates its strong literary links and the contribution of women to the media in Ireland.
The first Women in Media festival opens with a screening of the 'Radharc' documentary from the 1960s that asked visitors if they felt people abandoned their moral codes when they holidayed in Ballybunion.
And the general response was that while visitors thronged the nightclubs on a Saturday, they also "thronged the churches" the following morning seeking absolution.
The commemorative weekend celebrates the life of Ballybunion native and journalist Mary Cummins, who passed away in 1999 and in whose name the first Mary Cummins Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented.
Well-known faces taking part in a packed programme of talks, readings, workshops and social events include Irish Independent columnist Mary Kenny, 'Prime Time' presenter Miriam O'Callaghan and Sinn Fein politician Mary Lou McDonald.
Meanwhile, this year's Listowel Writers' Week annual literary festival 2013 has been officially launched.
The programme – which features Emma Donoghue, Gene Kerrigan, Colm McCann and Rebecca Miller – runs from May 29 to June 2. For more, visit www.writersweek.ie.