This weekend County Wexford will hold its annual Literary Arts Festival with an extensive program of events.
he festival is traditionally based in Enniscorthy, where it started, it has expanded in recent years to also include a program of events in the town of Wexford.
Among the major attractions staged this year will be the commemoration of the Battle of Enniscorthy which will take place on Saturday July 2 at 11am.
It will take place in and around Enniscorthy Castle and is organized by the Festival Committee in conjunction with the Municipal District of Enniscorthy. The commemoration will also include reenactment scenes with members of the Enniscorthy Historical Reenactment Society and also Lord Edward’s Own.
The keynote address will be delivered by the local authority’s Cathaoirleach at 11am and there will also be an address by Minister James Browne TD. The nature of the festival now is that it offers visitors and locals of Wexford and Enniscorthy a wide range of attractions and the event in the castle will be both entertaining and informative as local historian, Barry Lacey, will describe the nature of the battle to those in the meantime.
Mr. Lacey will also recount the events that unfold as the re-enactment groups give people an idea of what the battle was like from a visual perspective.
The keynote speaker for the day will be Sean Lemass’ grandson, Sean Haughey. Another keynote speaker at the event will be someone who bridges the gap between the literary and historical worlds.
Carmel Smyth, the author of ‘Monteith – the Making of a Rebel’, will give an address at noon which will be followed by a prayer service for all those who died in Enniscorthy and Wexford during the Revolutionary War and the Irish Civil War War.
Liam Doyle will deliver a piper’s lament and local author Maria Nolan, who is also a founding member of the festival committee, will deliver a prose excerpt at 12.20pm, with the ceremony due to end with the national anthem at 12.30pm.
An event taking place in the town of Wexford as part of the festival is the official launch of Derville Murphy’s new book, ‘The Perfect Copy’.
The launch will take place on Saturday, July 2 at 11:30 a.m. at the Book Center on Main Street.
Mrs. Murphy is a writer, artist, art historian and architect and this is her third book, following ‘The Art Collector’s Daughter’ (2020) and ‘If Only She Knew’ (2021).
Music events will also take place over the festival weekend with legendary Irish songwriter, Declan O’Rourke, ‘in conversation’ with author, musician and broadcaster, Peter Murphy at the Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy on July 2 at 14h.
The two will discuss O’Rourke’s new book, “The Pawnbroker’s Reward,” which will be followed by a question and answer session.
There will also be a special guest performance from Ben MacCaoilte and Daire Murray. A very special event will take place at Orchard Peace Park, Enniscorthy at 3.30pm on Saturday July 2nd.
The author, Caroline Busher will lead a magical workshop for children aged 8 to 12.
Participants will write their own fairy tale under Caroline’s guidance. Graduated with a First Class Hons. MA in Creative Writing from UCD, Caroline is a best-selling author now represented by the Trace Literary Agency in the United States.
An experienced television and radio host, she will bring a world of experience to the workshop. The event is planned to be held outdoors, but in the event of inclement weather, it will likely move indoors to the nearby presentation center.
A special celebratory event will take place at Enniscorthy Castle on Saturday July 2 at 3.30pm. It will aim to celebrate the successful writers of the Wexford Literary Festival throughout the events 10 year history.
June Caldwell and Susan Tomaselli will lead the event which will draw attention to writers such as Sheila Forsey, Felicity Hayes-McCoy, Carmel Harrington, Caroline Busher, Derville Murphy, Hanna McNiven, Paul O’Reilly and Imelda Carroll.
On Sunday, July 3, attention will turn to film with the presentation center showcasing short films from award-winning filmmakers and writers including Imelda Carroll, Dick Donoghue, Hannah McNiven and Edwina Forkin.
On Saturday at 1 p.m., Álanna Ní Ádhmaill will give a presentation on Michael Fortune’s current exhibition at Enniscorthy Castle titled ‘That’s True, You Know’.
The presentation will include an interview with Michael who is the man behind the famous www.folklore.ie and it will take place at Enniscorthy Castle.
Wexford Town Library will host an event on Saturday at 11am when Fintan Murphy is ‘in conversation’ with Des Kiely and which will be followed by the official launch at the Book Centre, Main Street, Wexford, of the third issue of ‘The Women of Wexford writing undercover”.
For more information on all the events taking place over the festival weekend, check out the event online at www.wexfordliteraryfestival.com and other social media platforms.