Doolin Writers’ Weekend
Well – we had the best of all possible omens for the opening of Doolin Writers’ Weekend.
Just as we passed Portlaoise around lunchtime yesterday, the sun came out. Bright blue sky, cheery spring clouds and a light that made it feel good to be leaving the city behind and heading for the wilds of wonderful County Clare.
And the gods of weather were right in their forecast: we had a terrific opening night to the festival.
Donal Minihane of Hotel Doolin invited all the weekend participants to a warm and welcoming drinks reception at seven o’clock, followed immediately by the official opening and a reading by Joseph O’Connor from his latest novel, The Thrill of It All.
Lia Mills, author of Fallen, the Two Cities One Book choice of Belfast and Dublin for 2016, did the honours for The Years That Followed and it was good to see the novel begin to make its way into the world at last!
I then had the great pleasure of launching my friend Anthony Glavin’s latest novel Colours Other Than Blue.
With all of the official duties completed, the talk and the music and the fun went on well into the small hours.
This morning, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and visited Lahinch Beach, Milltown Malbay and Spanish point.
In Milltown, we spent time at The Music Makers of West Clare – a steadily growing archive of all things to do with Irish traditional music. The video presentations were full of information – and music! – and the centre is well worth a visit.
Back in Doolin now for the final events of the festival.
Tomorrow it all comes to an end and something like normal life resumes before the Dublin launch of The Years That Followed followed (!) by the Northern Irish launch next week.
Busy times. Watch this space for further updates!