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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. 



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.

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. 

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.

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

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. 

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

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.

Maggie Wadey

Maggie Wadey is a novelist and screenwriter. Her mother was born in Puckaun, County Tipperary, while her father was English.  She lived  Her first novel Sleight of Heart was published in 1975 and she has since had a career writing for television, both original screenplays and adaptations, including Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park. In 2016 she published The English Daughter, a work she describes as a memoir of her mother and of Ireland.  She has just completed a collection of inter-connected stories Eros in Blue.  Maggie Wadey will be reading from her work and in conversation with local historian, Danny Grace, at Nenagh Heritage Centre on Friday 4 October.  

Edel Coffey

Edel Coffey is an arts journalist and broadcaster. She is a regular interviewer at literary festivals around Ireland, including Mountains to Sea, International Literary Festival Dublin and Cúirt.  She is a regular stand-in presenter for Arena, RTÉ Radio One's nightly arts show. Edel Coffey will be in conversation with Donal Ryan and Jane Clarke at Nenagh Arts Centre on Saturday 5 October.

Siobhan Mac Mahon

Siobhan Mac Mahon is a poet and performer with an MA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin. She has been writing and performing her poetry for many years in England, Ireland and across Europe. Siobhan won the WOMAD Festival poetry slam in 2017 and was poet in residence for The International Permaculture Conference in 2016. She has been published both online and in print, most recently in a Bloodaxe/ Raving Beauties Anthology, Hallelujah for 50 Foot Women. She was shortlisted for the Hennessey Award for New Irish Writing 2019. She is actively involved in the “100 Thousand Poets for Change” worldwide movement and runs creative writing workshops in a wide range of diverse communities and settings. Siobhan Mac Mahon will be leading one of our annual workshops with Transition Year Students and will be reading from her work in our Café Trail on Saturday 5 October.

Gráinne Higgins

Gráinne Higgins began playing cello at the age of nine as a pupil of Tara Lee Byrne at the Munster Music Academy in Killaloe.  She is currently studying with Christopher Marwood at The Cork School of Music.  She has just completed her Leaving Certificate and is looking forward to continuing her cello studies at CSM as a full-time student.  She is a member of Limerick Symphony Orchestra and has performed in chamber and competitive settings too, most notably with Quartet an Ghleanna, under the direction of Katherine Hunka.  She is also a current member of the Irish Youth Choir. Gráinne Higgins will be playing her cello to accompany singer, Dylan Rooney, at Nenagh Castle, on Sunday 6 October.  

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.

SOcial Media / nEWS

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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