Notes of Hope

July 12, 2024 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Tullamore Park
Co. Tipperary
Notes of Hope @ Tullamore Park

Join Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival for their exciting summer event ‘Notes of Hope’ with novelist, Colum McCann who will be joined by composer/musician Colm Mac Con Iomaire. The moderator will be Dr. Pragya Agarwal.

On Friday 12th July at 7.30pm in the beautiful setting of a new venue at Tullamore Park, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

Access to the venue will be via a Park & Ride service from Stereame Retail Park, Limerick Rd, Nenagh, E45 K379.  The bus will leave at 6.30pm. 

There will be a Rosé & Cashel Blue reception sponsored by Country Choice Nenagh, before the event.

Tickets €35 (includes booking fee, reception and Park & Ride)

Colum McCann is the author of six novels and two collections of stories. His most recent novel, Apeirogon, was longlisted for The Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, shortlisted for the Prix Femina & The Prix Medicis,  Shortlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award and winner of both the Prix Du Meilleur Livres Étranger and the National Jewish Book Awards. His fiction has been published in thirty-five languages. He lives in New York.


 ‘An extraordinary story of grace, forgiveness and moral courage’ Patrick Radden Keefe

One of the most extraordinary stories that I have read in years — Sting

The English language has no specific word for the parent that has lost a child. There exist words for orphan, widow and widower, but there is no word that captures and conveys this tragic type of loss.

It has been eleven years since Diane Foley’s son, the American journalist James Foley, was kidnapped in northern Syria, and nearly ten since that day in August 2014 when she would learn that he had been murdered by ISIS in a public beheading that would ricochet in video around the world. A whole decade. Time rushes past. And yet, for Diane, that moment is unending.

In American Mother, author Colum McCann tells Diane’s story as she recalls the months of his captivity, the efforts made to bring him home and the days following his death, in which Diane came face to face with one of the men responsible for her son’s kidnapping and torture. A testament to the power of radical empathy and moral courage, American Mother takes us inside one woman’s extraordinary journey to find connection in a world torn asunder, and to fight for others as a way to keep her son’s memory alive.

Colm Mac Con Iomaire, fiddler and composer is best known for his traditional albums, soundtrack work, and as a founding member of the Frames. Colm joined his friend, Colum McCann with members of Narrative 4,(the non profit global story exchange organisation co-founded by McCann), on a trip to the Holy Land, the setting for ‘Apeirogon’.  Mac Con Iomaire will perform the music he composed as a response to this trip.

In a crowded field of outstanding Irish fiddle players and interpreters of traditional music Colm Mac Con Iomaire is unique. His voice is unmistakably his own and his music bears distinctive creative hallmarks which have as much to do with his personality and character as with his impressive technical mastery, musical authority and exquisitely expressive playing.

Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural and data scientist, and founder of a research think-tank investigating global social inequalities. She is currently a visiting professor of social inequities and injustice in the UK, and holds fellowships from University of Oxford, Newnham College (Cambridge), Churchill Trust, British Library/Eccles Center for The Americas, Fulbright Commission, and Royal Literary Foundation. She is the author of four widely acclaimed non-fiction books including Sway (which was Guardian ‘Book of the Week’), Hysterical and (M)otherhood, and her writing has also appeared widely in The Guardian, New Scientist, Wired, Scientific American, Times Literary Supplement, Literary Hub, amongst others. 

Pragya has been awarded the Transmission Prize for ‘making complex scientific ideas accessible’ and Crucible NESTA award for ‘innovative inter-disciplinary work’, and funding from Royal Society, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, Society of Authors, and Royal Society of Literature. Pragya was born in India and now lives in Tipperary with her family.

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