Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival

2 - 6 October 2019


Welcome to the Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival Website

The 2019 Festival will take place from the 1 - 6 October

The sixteenth annual Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival takes place from 1 – 6 October 2019. From its first event in November 2004, the Festival has grown into a much loved and warmly anticipated event on the autumn literary calendar.

We bring together writers and readers, nurturing and celebrating creative expression. Our programme offers something for readers and writers of all ages and includes poetry, prose, memoir, journalism, drama, music, and performance. We have some of the most exciting (upcoming and established) writers and poets taking part in this year’s festival. We look forward to welcoming you to the 2019 Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival.


The festival was founded in 2004 by a small group of literary enthusiasts in Dromineer, North Tipperary, by the shores of the stunning Lough Derg.  Since its beginnings the festival has grown and established itself as an important literary festival in the Irish festivals landscape. The festival’s scenic location, hospitality and care of writers and readers has made it a festival writers love:




“It truly was the best festival I’ve been to, so thoughtfully organised, so friendly and unique”

           – Jessica J Lee.


The festival began as Dromineer Literary Festival and incorporated Nenagh into its name in 2019. This change signifies that many of the festival’s events take place in the town of Nenagh and without the support of the wider Nenagh community, partner organisations such as Nenagh Arts Centre and local businesses, the festival would not be possible. 



Paula Shields

Paula Shields has been an arts journalist in London since the 1990s. She has worked in print, TV and now in radio on Arena, RTÉ’s flagship arts show. Highlights of Paula Shield’s career include an interview with Margaret Atwood, making the IFTA award-winning documentary Fairytale of New York, and judging the 2017 and 2018 Irish Times Theatre Awards. Paula Shields will be in conversation with novelist Joseph O’Connor at Nenagh Arts Centre on Thursday 3 October.

Rick O’Shea

Rick O’Shea has been a broadcaster with RTÉ since 2001, previously on RTÉ  2FM and as a presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s The Poetry Programme. He currently presents weekday mornings on RTÉ Gold. He runs The Rick O’Shea Book Club (Ireland’s largest with over 26,000 members), hosts events and public interviews at book festivals all across the country, and has been the National Patron of Epilepsy Ireland since 2006. He is also a Book Ambassador for Easons, compiling the “Sinead And Rick’s Must Reads” lists 4 times a year with writer Sinead Moriarty.Rick has been curator of the Waterford Writers Weekend and was one of the judges for the 2018 Costa Book Awards in the UK. Rick will be in conversation at Nenagh Arts Centre on Friday 4 October with Anne Griffin and John Boyne,  

Joseph O’ Connor

Joseph O'Connor is a novelist, screenwriter, playwright and broadcaster. He is the author of nine novels including Star of the Sea, Ghost Light and his latest, Shadowplay. Among his awards are the Prix Zepter for European Novel of the Year, France's Prix Millepages, Italy's Premio Acerbi, an American Library Association Award and the Irish Pen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. His work has been translated into forty languages. In 2014 he was appointed Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. Joseph O’Connor will be will be in conversation at Nenagh Arts Centre on Thursday 3 October with Paula Shields.

Culture Night with John W. Sexton

Poet John W. Sexton is this year's Festival Writer in Residence.He has worked with local groups gathering stories and turning them into performance pieces to be premiered on Saturday 5 October at Lough Derg Yacht Club.For Culture Night, John will present his own new work, An Ormond Aisling, inspired by his research of local pagan folklore and mythology.

Geraldine Mitchell

Dublin-born poet Geraldine Mitchell has lived on the coast of County Mayo, looking out on Clare Island, for almost twenty years and this wild landscape inhabits her poems. Geraldine won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2008 and has since won further awards and published three collections with Arlen House: World Without Maps, Of Birds and Bones, and most recently, Mountains for Breakfast. Geraldine Mitchell is the judge of DNLF’s annual school poetry competition, each year setting a theme and reading the hundreds of entries to find the best.  She will also be reading and talking about poetry with Jane Clarke in Steeples on Sunday 6 October. Rick will be in conversation at Nenagh Arts Centre on Friday 4 October with Anne Griffin and John Boyne

Graham Tugwell

Graham Tugwell is an Irish writer and performer. His work has been published across five continents and has been adapted for stage, radio and screen. He is the creator and writer of audio drama podcast Down Below the Reservoir. He lives in the country with his cats, Tiramisu and Banoffee.Graham will be leading an interactive storytelling workshop, Greetings Heros! for young people aged 6-10 in Nenagh Library on Saturday 5 October.Greetings Heroes! workshop involves inventing heroes, each with their own powers and abilities and creating adventure stories together. The children drive the action and no two sessions are ever alike.Greetings Heroes! has been enjoyed by children, parents and teachers in schools, libraries and festivals around Ireland. 

Eleanor Hooker

Eleanor Hooker is a poet and writer. She has published two poetry collections with Dedalus Press: A Tug of Blue (2016); The Shadow Owner’s Companion (2012). Her third collection, Mending the Light, will be published in 2020. She’s working to complete a novel.Eleanor holds an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin, an MA (Hons) in Cultural History from the University of Northumbria, and a BA (Hons) from the Open University, UK. Eleanor is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. She is a helm on Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat. She is founder and curator of the Rowan Tree Readings, an international reading series.Her poetry is published in literary journals internationally and her poems have been broadcast on RTÉ. Her fiction has been published in: The Irish Times, Bare Fiction journal and Banshee literary journal.Website www.eleanorhooker.ieEleanor Hooker will be in conversation with Eoin Warner on board the Ku-Ee-Tu on Sunday 6 October, which sets out onto Lough Derg from Dromineer Harbour.  

Grace Wilentz

Grace Wilentz is a poet based in the Liberties, Dublin. Her poetry has appeared in Irish, British and American journals including Poetry Ireland Review, Cyphers, The Seneca Review, The American Poetry Journal, The Harvard Advocate, Magma, and The Irish Times. Her work has featured as part of a public artwork displayed on the facade of the Abbey Theatre. Her debut pamphlet, Holding Distance, will be launched by the Green Bottle Press at the Poetry Book Society in London in October 2019. Grace Wilentz will be reading her poetry at Nenagh Arts Centre, prior to the conversation with Anne Griffin, John Boyne and Rick O'Shea on Friday 4 October

Jackie Gorman

Jackie Gorman is a poet who has been published in a number of journals including Poetry Ireland Review, The Lonely Crowd and The Honest Ulsterman. She was part of the 2017 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and won the 2017 Listowel Writers’ Week Single Poem Award. She recently completed a Masters in Poetry Studies at Dublin City University. Her first collection was published in May 2019 by UK publisher The Onslaught Press.Jackie Gorman will be reading at Nenagh Arts Centre, prior to the conversation with Donal Ryan, Jane Clarke and Edel Coffey on Saturday 5 October.

Paul McNamara

Paul McNamara was the 2018 Dromineer and Nenagh Literary festival Writer in Residence. During his time at the festival he began writing the poetry play Hello My Name is Single which would go on the win the 2019 Limerick Fringe Spirit of the Fringe Award. His poetry show Quarter Life Crises (2018) featured at Limerick Fringe, Galway Fringe and Galway Culture night and won the Galway Fringe Spoken Word Award. Paul is a two-time All-Ireland Spoken Word Slam Runner-up (2015, 2016), a former Munster Slam Champion (2016) and Yeats’ Tower Slam Champion (2016) and winner of Limerick’s Got Talent (2015). He work has been featured on TV3 and RTÉ Radio and published widely. He spent the past summer studying in Columbia University in New York City funded by an Erasmus+ Grant. Paul McNamara will be leading workshops for local Transition Year students at Lough Derg Yacht Club on Friday 4 October. 9am-3pm

Eoin Warner

Eoin Warner is a native of West Cork who is fascinated by nature and the outdoors. He presented the recent wildlife documentary Éire Fhiáin–An Cósta Thiar and a Wild Irish Year. Éire Fhiáin won best programme and Eoin was best presenter at the 2018 TG4 awards. Eoin has travelled extensively, always with a focus on wildlife. He is interested in the provenance of our food and the sustainability of its production. He grows most of his own vegetables and fruit, keeps honey-bees and forages for native plants and seaweeds.Eoin Warner will be talking about what inspires him on board the Ku-Ee-Tu on Sunday 6 October, which sets out onto Lough Derg from Dromineer Harbour. 

Robert Gogan

Robert Gogan is passionate about James Joyce’s Ulysses and works to encourage others to enjoy the book as much as he does. Robert is a comic performer and invites you to his one man show Strolling Through Ulysses!   The show will guide you through the curious events and quirky characters of Ulysses, in a humorous, entertaining and informative manner. Strolling Through Ulysses! will be performed by Robert Gogan at lunchtime on Saturday 5 October. PLEASE NOTE: This show contains adult content and is not suitable for children.

SOcial Media / nEWS

Facebook Posts

Virginia and Geraldine meet Manchan Magan at Limerick City Gallery.
Manchan interviewed Robert Ryan at his exhibition ‘Forgotten Existence’ which runs throughout the summer. Robert was our featured DNLF festival artist two years ago.
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John W. Sexton relaxing in Nenagh yesterday with Geraldine Mc Nulty and Margaret Folan after having conducted a workshop as part of the writer in residence project. ... See MoreSee Less

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We are looking forward to welcoming John W. Sexton , our writer in residence for DNLF 2019. John will work with a range of individuals in several workshops to generate creative writing, stories, poems and/or short plays or performance pieces from their life experiences. ... See MoreSee Less

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This project has been part funded by the North Tipperary LEADER Partnership under the Rural Development Programme which is financed by the EU through the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development and by the National Exchequer through the National Development Plan.




Loc8 Code: L70-74-M12 (Lough Derg Yacht Club).

GPS Coordinates: 52.925917,-8.275806


The nearest railway stations to Dromineer are Nenagh (limited service), Thurles and Limerick. Rail information: www.irishrail.ie


To get to Dromineer leave the M7 at EXIT 26 and follow the GREEN signs for the N52, signposted ‘Tullamore, Borrisokane, Nenagh’. Continue through a number of roundabouts on the N52 to the Dromineer Road Roundabout where you take the first exit onto the R495 signposted ‘Dromineer, Ballycommon, Lough Derg’. The N52 is a ring road around Nenagh so there is no need to enter the town centre.

Get directions via the AA Route Planner


Shannon Airport has connecting flights from many UK, European and US locations.  www.shannonairport.com