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Granard Booktown Festival

April 19 - 21 2024

The Festival

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.

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. Granard is surrounded by beautiful lakes such as Lough Gowna and forests like Derrycassin Woods. The name Granard has many meanings - The Hill of the Sun, The Hill of the Grain or Ugly Height. All of these could be attributed to the most memorable feature in Granard - the great Norman earthwork, the largest in Ireland, which rises up at the west end of the main street. This became the site for a castle built in 1199 by Richard Tuite who had been granted the lands by Hugh de Lacy. Granard has had a varied and colourful history as is witnessed by the many time it has been mentioned in various annals and is well worth a visit.

The Booktown Team

Granard Booktown is organised and run by a diverse team from across Co.Longford.
john connell

John is a bestselling author and farmer. He is also the co-founder and director of the festival.

John Connell
vivian huynh

Vivian is a Social and Content Director with Folk Wunderman Thompson.

Vivian Huynh
ronan o toole

Ronan is the Co-Founder and Festival Director of the Still Voices Film Festival. He is also the co-founder and director of Granard Booktown Festival.

Ronan O' Toole
Uruemu Adejinmi

Uruemu is a Fianna Fail Councillor in Co. Longford. She was also the first female African Cathaoirleach in the country.

Uruemu Adejinmi
james cawley

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.

James Cawley
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.

Belinda McKeon
turlough mcgovern

Turlough is a Granard native and local councillor. He is also the current Longford Cathaoirleach.

Turlough McGovern

Latest News View All News Here.

image of mark tighe leaning against a tree
Special Guest - Mark Tighe
Ronan O' Toole | 01 April | 2023
Author of the Award-Winning Champagne Football Mark Tighe joins Granard Booktown 2023.
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image of emma dabiri in front of a bookshelf
Notice - Event Cancelled
Ronan O' Toole | 31 March | 2023
Please note - Emma Dabiri in conversation with Rick O'Shea has been cancelled.
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image of granard booktown poster
Official Programme Launched
Ronan O' Toole | 25 February | 2023
The full line up has been announced for this year's festival.
Read More

Our Patrons

Granard Booktown is supported by our wonderful patrons, who will help shape the festival going forward.
shaunagh connaire

Shaunagh is the Director of Communications and Media at the Clooney Foundation. She was nominated for an Emmy award and won a duPont-Columbia award.

Shaunagh Connaire
rick o shea

Rick is an RTE Broadcaster, Book Pusher and Event Host. He runs The Rick O’Shea Book Club – Ireland’s largest book club with almost 40,000 members.

Rick O' Shea
mary reynolds

Mary is the former Longford County Librarian and Head of Creative Ireland Longford. She has a long history of supporting both the arts and literature across the county.

Mary Carleton Reynolds

Richard is a Man Booker Prize Winning Author and widely considered “the finest Australian novelist of his generation. ”

Richard Flanagan

"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. There are already some amazing local, national, and international guests lined up. See you there on the weekend!"

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

Our Partners

Contact Us

Call Us
(043) 668 6164
Granard, Co. Longford