Rathkeale set for O Faolain weekend

RATHKEALE is all set for the third annual Sean O'Faoláin weekend starting on October 18 when the town remembers one of Ireland's most distinguished writers.

The weekend-long event will be officially opened by Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan and will feature writers Donal Ryan and Fintan O'Toole and local author Mike MacDomhnaill. Now in its third year, the Sean O'Faoláin weekend is a joint venture between Rathkeale Community Arts Group and the Rathkeale Historical 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," said Norma Prendiville, chairwoman of the event.

The Sean O'Faoláin weekend will be officially opened at 8pm on October 18, followed by a talk by author, journalist, columnist and literary editor of the Irish Times, Fintan O'Toole who will speak on 'Dissent and O'Faoláin'. I'm pretty sure whatever he says will spark a lively debate and will be thought-provoking." Norma said. As O'Faolain's mother was from Rathkeale, he was familiar with the town, its shops and streets, roads and lanes, fields and lakes and was a regular summer visitor to the town, often taking the train from his home place of Cork to Rathkeale.

The weekend continues on October 19 with 'Feel the Magic' 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.

Local author Mike MacDomhnall will read his award-winning short-story Uncle Ned in an evening of story and song with musical interludes.

'A Mystery Bus Tour' tracing O'Faoláin's links with Rathkeale will also feature throughout the weekend.

"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" said Norma.

For more information or bookings contact 087- 1249955 or email rathkealearts@gmail.com