• granard
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  • town
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  • 2024
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GranardBooktownAbout Us

A national Book Town in the heart of Ireland
April 19 - 21 2024

Granard Booktown Festival
April 19 - 21 2024

About Us

Granard Booktown festival is inspired by the global booktown movement most notably our neighbours Wigtown in Scotland. Through books and the arts Granard, a small midlands town will become Ireland's newest booktown. Using words and literature we will bring speakers, writers and artists to the town over a long weekend each April. By being a booktown we will encourage people who love books to visit the town and share in the arts generated around books and provide cultural amenities through the building of not just a national festival but an international one in the heart of Ireland.

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/ Info
Granard Town
Granard is the second largest town in County Longford and lies on the N55 route from the Midlands Region to the Northern Counties. Beautiful lakes like Lough Gowna and forests like Derrycassin Woods surround Granard. Granard has many meanings - The Hill of the Sun, The Hill of the Grain or Ugly Height. These could be attributed to the most memorable feature in Granard - the great Norman earthwork, the largest in Ireland, which rises at the west end of the main street; this became the site for a castle built in 1199 by Richard Tuite, to whom Hugh de Lacy had granted the lands. Granard has had a varied and colourful history, as is witnessed by the many times it has been mentioned in various annals, and it is well worth a visit.

For more information on Granard and things to see, click here.
Where To Stay

Due to the ongoing conflicts abroad, accommodation in Granard Town is currently unavailable. Below is a list of beautiful hotels and B&Bs close to Granard where you can stay during your visit.

We are hoping to offer a free taxi service on Saturday and Sunday mornings from Pikers Lodge, Gowna and Castle Varagh, Castlepollard, to Granard town, with a free return at night. We will update this closer to the festival.

2024 Programme
You can download The Official 2024 Programme here.
Click here to go to our tickets page.

/ 2024 Artist in Residence

2024 Artist in Residence | Noel Monahan

Noel Monahan

We are thrilled to announce that the distinguished Granard poet Noel Monahan will be the festival's first artist-in-residence. We will collaborate with Noel to launch his new work, and he will also serve as a liaison for the festival throughout the year. You can find out more information about Noel below.

Noel is an award-winning poet with seven published collections of poetry. He has also received The PJ O'Connor R.T.E. Radio Drama Award and The A.S.T.I. Achievements Award for his outstanding contributions to literature. His works have been translated into Italian, French, Romanian, and Russian. Additionally, he is a playwright and has written plays such as "The Children of Lir" and "Lovely Husbands".

His poetry has even been included as the prescribed text for the Leaving Certificate English Course. He co-edits Windows Publications and holds an M.A. in Creative Writing.

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"As a child of Longford (Tasmania) where my Irish forebears were sent as convicts during the Famine, I feel an odd affinity with Longford (Ireland). I know the affirmative and sometimes transformative power of small places dreaming themselves anew and so I was delighted to be asked to be a patron of the Granard Booktown Festival. One word follows another and in this way sentences, novels and new worlds are made and so I hope too with this festival and the town it celebrates. - Richard Flanagan
"Longford is a place brimming with talented authors and journalists. It’s a place that churns out great literature and deserves the limelight. I’m not only honoured to be a patron of Ireland’s first Book Town due to take place in my home county but also deeply humbled I get to be part of something so creative in the place I found my personal love of books and writing. - Shaunagh Connaire
"I couldn't have been more thrilled when I was asked to be one of the Patrons for a brand-new festival and the inauguration of Granard as a Book Town. It's a place that's perfect for a new project like this and, in the heartland of what is already a thriving arts scene in Longford, I'm certain it's going to become one of the annual highlights of the calendar. - Rick O' Shea
"I am delighted and honoured to have been invited to support this exciting new initiative. Granard is a town steeped in a rich literary and musical tradition. It was home to the first Harp festival in Ireland and the acclaimed Irish writers Padraic Colum, Noel Monahan and John Connell have all drawn inspiration from its beautiful natural landscape and wonderful people. It is an ideal venue to start a new book festival celebrating great writing and sharing stories to as wide an audience as possible as well as championing new and emerging talent. - Mary Reynolds

Granard Booktown Team
John Connell
John is the co-founder and director of Granard Booktown. He is also a bestselling author and farmer. You can find him online here.

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Ronan O' Toole
Ronan is the co-founder and director of Granard Booktown. He has over a decade of festival production experience and currently works for the National Talent Academy for Animation.You can find him online here.

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Belinda McKeon
Belinda is the author of the novels Solace and Tender, which won and were nominated for awards including the Irish Book of the Year 2011 and the Encore Prize 2016. She has recently been appointed the lead of Maynooth University's MA in Creative Writing. You can find her online here.

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James Cawley Jr.
James is a proud disabled person and Policy Officer with Independent Living Movement Ireland. James was a teacher and has researched disability issues on a National and European level. He is also newly appointed to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Disability Advisory Committee. James is Chairperson of the European Anti-Poverty Network.You can find him online here.

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Vivian Huynh
Vivian is a Social and Content Director with Folk Wunderman Thompson. You can find her online here.

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Uruemu Adejinmi
Uruemu is a Fianna Fail Councillor in Co. Longford. She was also the first female African Cathaoirleach in the country. You can find her online here.

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Turlough McGovern
Turlough is a Granard native and local councillor. He was the Longford Cathaoirleach in 2023. You can find him online here.

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Granard Library
Main St, Granard, Co. Longford
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(043) 668 6164