Echoes – Maeve Binchy & Irish Writers

We are delighted to announce the second ECHOES will run from 5th -7th October 2018.  The full day (10.00am -5.00pm) of talks, discussions, readings and dramatisations will be on Saturday 6th October with ancillary events on the 5th and 7th.


The first half day session will look at the evolution of contemporary Irish women writers – where they are at today and the part that Maeve Binchy’s international success played in this. Is gender still a relevant topic in writing or is it perhaps more significant than ever?

In Intuitive Feminism….. In this talk Melissa Sihra challenges the patriarchal foundations of Irish theatre by demonstrating a previously unexplored lineage between Lady Gregory and contemporary playwright Marina Carr in order to create new paths of meaning for all women in Irish theatre, past and present. Later, in Maeve Binchy: the Quiet Feminist Henrietta Mc Kervey will illuminate how Maeve’s feminism shone through in her written words which taught her characters to be courageous and take charge of their own lives in order to succeed. In an era when no Irish writer addressed issues of abortion, unwanted pregnancy, domestic violence, incest or forced adoption, Maeve Binchy was at the helm and in her gentle, yet relentless way, she spelled out the truth of what was happening in Irish society.

In Following in Maeve’s Footsteps, acclaimed writers Patricia Scanlan, Sheila O’Flanagan and Claudia Carroll discuss Maeve’s influence on their writing paths and debate the issue of stereotyping female fiction writers.

It’s a Mystery, is gender relevant in Crime Writing? has some of Ireland’s leading crime writers debating with Declan Hughes whether Crime Writing is the one genre where women writers are considered deadlier than the male. In a rich tradition from Agatha Christie to Patricia Cornwell, are detective novels considered more thrilling when written in the words of a woman?


In the afternoon session we take a broader look at Irish society today for women and men. Our new -found freedom contrasts sharply with the dark days of the emigration of the 1950s.

Frank McGuinness The afternoon session will begin with one of Ireland’s leading authors, Frank Mc Guinness, whose plays have received national and international acclaim. Frank will read from Paprika, his newly published first collection of stories in which the award-winning master storyteller writes above all about freedom: freedom from hate, freedom to love, to speak, to silence.

Actors Claudia Carroll, Clelia Murphy (Fair City) and Lorcan Cranitch will lead the rehearsed reading of Maeve Binchy’s multi-award-winning television play’ Deeply Regretted by…’.  Writer Catherine Dunne will speak about her research for forgotten stories in her work An Unconsidered People’. This book gives voice to the stories of both women and men who emigrated from Ireland in the 1950s and who have been all but omitted from Irish history. Catherine, who in the words of Roddy Doyle “is one of Ireland’s best novelists” will discuss all of her findings and her more recent work.

Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History in UCD will draw the day of talks, discussions, readings and dramatisations to a close with ‘Maeve Binchy the Historian of Modern Ireland’.  

There are other events including Maeve Binchy’s ‘Aches and Pains’ adapted by Shay Linehan on Friday 5th at 7.30pm and a Maeve Binchy and Irish Writers Guided Walk with readings on Sunday 7th at 11.00am.

There will be an in-house screening of the documentary ‘Maeve Binchy At Home in the World’ (courtesy of Noel Pearson and Ferndale Films) with precedence going to full day ticket holders on Saturday evening at 7.30pm.

Early Bird Full Day Tickets available on Eventbrite on Tuesday 21st August – €45 (plus booking fee). Limited availability.  

Half day tickets (morning or afternoon) €30 each go on sale on Eventbrite on 28th August. 

Full day tickets €55. Booking Fees apply.

Maeve Binchy Tribute Show

On Friday  October 5th Maeve’s ‘Aches and Pains’ adapted by Shay Linehan will launch the weekend at 7.30pm at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. 

Booking available from 28th August 2018

Maeve Binchy and Irish Writers Walk

On Sunday 7th October we will have the guided walk at 11.00am starting at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre.

Booking available from 28th August 2018