This weekend will see County Wexford staging its annual Literary Arts Festival with a wide programme of events place.
While the festival has been traditionally based in Enniscorthy, where it began, in recent years it has expanded to include a programme of events in Wexford town too.
Among the significant attractions being staged this year will be the commemoration of the Battle of Enniscorthy which will take place on Saturday, July 2, at 11 a.m.
It will take place in and around Enniscorthy Castle and is being organised by the festival committee in conjunction with Enniscorthy Municipal District. The commemoration will also include re-enactment scenes with members of Enniscorthy Historcial Re-enactment Society and also Lord Edward’s Own.
The opening address will be given by the Cathaoirleach of the local authority at 11 a.m. and there will also be an address from Minister James Browne TD. The nature of the festival now is that it offers visitors and locals to Wexford and Enniscorthy a broad range of attractions and the event in the castle will be both entertaining and informative as local historian, Barry Lacey, will outline the nature of the battle to those in attendance.
Mr Lacey will also narrate the events taking place as the re-enactment groups give people an idea of what the battle looked like from a visual perspective.
The keynote speaker on the day will be Sean Lemass’ grandson, Sean Haughey. Another keynote speaker at the event will be someone bridging the gap between the literary and historical worlds.
Carmel Smyth, the author of ‘Monteith – the Making of a Rebel', will give an address at 12 noon and that will be followed by a prayer service for all those who died in Enniscorthy and Wexford during the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War.
Liam Doyle will give a piper’s lament and local author, Maria Nolan, who is also a founder member of the festival committee will give a prose extract at 12.20 p.m. with the ceremony scheduled to end with the national anthem at 12.30 p.m.
An event taking place in Wexford town as part of the festival is the official launch of Derville Murphy's new book, ‘The Perfect Copy’.
The launch will take place on Saturday, July 2, at 11.30 a.m. in the Book Centre on Main Street.
Ms Murphy is a writer, artists, art historian and architect and this is her third book, following in the wake of ‘The Art Collector’s Daughter’ (2020) and ‘If Only She Knew’ (2021).
There will also be music events taking place over the festival weekend with legendary Irish songwriter, Declan O’Rourke, ‘in conversation’ with author, musician and broadcaster, Peter Murphy in the Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy, on July 2, at 2 p.m.
The two will discuss O’Rourke’s new book, ‘The Pawnbroker's Reward’, which will be followed by a questions and answers session.
There will also be a special guest performance by Ben MacCaoilte and Daire Murray. A very special event will take place in the Orchard Peace Park, Enniscorthy, at 3.30 p.m. on Saturday July 2.
Author, Caroline Busher will give a children's fairy workshop aimed at children aged between 8 and 12.
The participants will write their own fairy story under Caroline's guidance. Graduating with a First Class Hons. MA in creative writing from UCD, Caroline is a best-selling author now represented by the Trace Literary Agency in the USA.
An experienced TV and radio broadcaster she will bring a world of experience to the workshop. It’s planned to hold the event outdoors but in the event of inclement weather it will likely move inside to the nearby Presentation Centre.
A special celebrator event will take place in Enniscorthy Castle on Saturday, July 2, at 3.30 p.m. It will be aimed at celebrating the successful Wexford Literary Festival writers from throughout the events 10 year history.
June Caldwell and Susan Tomaselli will lead the event which will focus attention on writers such as Sheila Forsey, Felicity Hayes-McCoy, Carmel Harrington, Caroline Busher, Derville Murphy, Hanna McNiven, Paul O’Reilly and Imelda Carroll.
On Sunday, July 3, the focus of attention will turn to film with the Presentation Centre screening short films by award-winning filmmakers and writers including Imelda Carroll, Dick Donoghue, Hannah McNiven and Edwina Forkin.
On Saturday, at 1 p.m., Álanna Ní Ádhmaill will deliver a presentation on Michael Fortune's current exhibition in Enniscorthy Castle titled ‘That's True, You Know’.
The presentation will include an interview with Michael who is the man behind the celebrated www.folklore.ie and it will take place in Enniscorthy Castle.
Wexford town library will play host to an event on Saturday at 11 a.m. when Fintan Murphy will be 'in conversation’ with Des Kiely and that will be followed by the official launch in the Book Centre, Main Steet, Wexford, of the third issue of ‘Wexford Women Writing Undercover’.
For more information on all events taking place over the festival weekend look the event up online at www.wexfordliteraryfestival.com and other social media platforms.