Granard Booktown Festival
April 21 - 23 2023
The Booktown Team
John is a bestselling author and farmer. He is also the co-founder and director of the festival.
Vivian is a Social and Content Director with Folk Wunderman Thompson.
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.
Uruemu is a Fianna Fail Councillor in Co. Longford. She was also the first female African Cathaoirleach in the country.
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.
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.
Turlough is a Granard native and local councillor. He is also the current Longford Cathaoirleach.
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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.
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.
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.
Richard is a Man Booker Prize Winning Author and widely considered “the finest Australian novelist of his generation. ”
"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."
"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."
"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!"
""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.""