Red Line Festival 2021

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Marita Conlon-McKenna in conversation with Tanya Farrelly


Marita Conlon-McKenna in conversation with Tanya Farrelly


“Compelling … An accessible and essential book, which does great service to Irish history and charts the courage and steadfastness of the human spirit..” Sunday Times

Marita Conlon-McKenna’s most recent novel, The Hungry Road, published at the beginning of this year, and as such Red Line is eager to highlight a wonderful novel that you might have missed.

Inspired by true Irish heroes, The Hungry Road is the heartbreaking story of the Great Irish Famine told by one of Ireland’s best loved writers.

Join Marita as she discusses the novel, her career and more with fellow novelist, Tanya Farrelly.

Tanya Farrelly is the author of two novels and the prize-winning short story collection When Black Dogs Sing.

Between the Red Lines is an initiative of South Dublin Libraries & Arts.

  • VENUE: Online
  • TIME: Sat 27 Feb, 19:00 – 20:00

PRICE: Free, booking required

National Famine Way launch of Shoe Stories story video.

National Famine Way Shoe Stories Video

It is great to see another important Famine story being told as The National Famine Way and Strokestown Park House launch the video for Daniel’s story.

At the height of the Great Irish Famine in May of 1847, twelve year old Daniel Tighe was forced to walk 165km with 1,490 assisted emigrants from the Strokestown Park Estate in County Roscommon along the Royal Canal to Custom House Quay in Dublin. Their sorrowful journey is marked by over thirty pairs of bronze shoe sculptures on the National Famine Way walking trail.  I was very honoured to be asked to write Daniel’s story and delighted that now along with the app there is now the National Famine Way Shoe Stories film about Daniel and his family, as they say goodbye to their home place and begin the long arduous walk to Dublin to board ships that will bring them to Liverpool and Canada.

NATIONAL FAMINE WAY SHOE STORIES FILM: Please join us for a live online event in conversation about Daniel‘s great journey and the making of the video on Wednesday, December 2nd at 7pm Irish time, 2pm Eastern Standard Time in North America:
Watch the film and register here:
This film and online event are hosted by the National Famine Museum, Strokestown Park and Irish Heritage Trust with funding by Dublin City Council.  

On Thursday 3rd December I am really looking forward to another online event joining West Cork readers who are reading The Hungry Road for a lively discussion about the book.

It is great to see the continuing growing interest in finding out more about The Great Hunger and I was very impressed by RTE’s new documentary ‘The Hunger’.

This two part series produced by Tyrone Production is narrated by Liam Neeson and is based on the enormous ‘Atlas of the Great Irish Famine’ which was published by Cork University press in association UCC.  The series brings all the research, history and discoveries about the Great Irish Famine to a huge global audience enabling all of us to gain a better understanding of the cataclysmic event that has shaped Irish people and our nation.

Dublin Book Festival in partnership with The National Library of Ireland

Well done to everyone at The Dublin Book Festival and The National Library for going ahead despite Covid with this year’s festival.

It is a great honour to  take part in ‘Writing History’ a podcast with Breda Brown interviewing  new writer of A Quiet Tide Marianne Lee  and myself about  all the intricacies and joys of writing history, something we both love. The podcast will go out on Thursday 5th November at 7pm.

 Here is the Link:

 Marianne and I could have talked for hours about our favourite subject and how we each approach writing; researching and building our stories while staying true to those we are writing about   

It is unfortunate that here in Ireland we are back in a lockdown phase again to try and curtail the spread of Covid 19 numbers. Like many other sectors The Arts have been badly hit with theatres, concert venues and galleries shut, and many book and literature and music festivals cancelled or curtailed. It has been a huge learning curve for most of us writers who enjoy taking part in festivals and meeting our readers.

Along with working on a new book I have spent this time learning how to make videos, do Zoom events and podcasts interviews and in the past few months have amongst other things taken part in The John Hewitt Summer School, The Dublin History Festival, and The Kildare Readers Festival, with a lovely event planned next month with West Cork Book Groups who are all reading ‘The Hungry Road’.

Recording the Podcast

 I have a huge regard for all the wonderful organizers and volunteers who have pressed ahead with these alternate form of events which are proving so popular and finding a new even wider audience reach.