Top line-up for 'Women in Media' event

RTE stars for Ballybunion festival

Marisa Reidy

RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan and Charlie Bird, PR guru Terry Prone and well known columnist and feminist Mary Kenny are among the leading names set to visit Ballybunion this weekend for the first ever Women in Media event.

Running from Friday to Sunday, April 26-28, the festival aims to celebrate the unique contribution that women have made to Irish media while also commemorating the life and work of the late Mary Cummins from Ballybunion - a campaigning journalist with The Irish Times.

The weekend will also acknowledge the late Maeve Binchy, who spent her childhood summers in Ballybunion, from where she drew inspiration for her second best-selling novel, 'Echoes'.

The highlight of the weekend will be the announcement of the winner of the inaugural 'Mary Cummins award for Lifetime Achievement in Irish Journalism', which will be presented by Mary's daughter Daisy at a gala dinner at Kilcooly's on the Saturday night.

Other events planned include a symposium on Saturday which explores how Irish women have climbed the ladder in many previously male dominated professions, including politics and media.

Speakers include Sinn Fein vice-President Mary Lou McDonald, Fine Gael TD Aine Collins, columnist and broadcaster Alison O'Connor and The Irish Daily Star's political correspondent Catherine Halloran.

This event will be chaired by reporter with RTE's Prime Time, Katie Hannon.

Saturday's programme also includes a special tribute to Maeve Binchy, with readings of extracts from her work by a number of well-known journalists and lunch with special guest speaker, Charlie Bird.

Another highlight will be the opening of an exhibition of photographs by photographer Michelle Cooper- Galvin, who will be displaying samples of her work spanning her long career as a photographer with The Kerryman. PR guru Terry Prone takes to the stage on Sunday morning, to share some of the secrets of her success.

Full details about the festival are available from