Sarah Webb, Marita and Martina Devlin

It was lovely to get the chance to join so many writer friends at this year’s Irish Pen Award Dinner in The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Irish Pen Chairperson Vanessa O ‘Loughlin warmly welcomed everyone and we were reminded of the ‘Empty Chair ‘at the Dinner which symbolises writers who are imprisoned or unable to write freely in their own country.

This year winner of the Irish Pen Award for her contribution to Irish Literature is writer Catherine Dunne, a very worthy winner.  The award was presented by The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Josepha Madigan who spoke of the importance of Irish writers like Catherine whose work is recognised both at home and overseas.

Catherine talked about her writing life and how vital it and words are to her.

Writer Lia Mills gave a lovely tribute to Catherine talking about her work, loyalty and friendship and her dedication to teaching writing and encouraging others to write.

There was lots of book talk, library talk and publishing talk and having just finished my own  book it was  great to relax and over a lovely meal  and to get to meet so many PEN friends.