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Show of resilience for 2023 Limerick Literary Festival



The 2023 Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O’Brien returns to its usual February slot.

Kicking off this February 25, the 2023 Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O’Brien will take on the theme of resilience

The 2023 Limerick Literary Festival in honour of Kate O’Brien returns to its usual February slot and the programme for 2023 includes talks, interviews, poetry, an exhibition and more to be announced.

Launched on Wednesday, February 1 in O’Mahony’s Bookshop Limerick by Limerick performer, playwright, director, podcaster, and musician Ann Blake, this year’s festival will mark its 39th year as one of Limerick’s main literary events of the year.

The Festival will open in The People’s Museum, No 2 Pery Square on Friday 24 February, and continue there on Saturday 25 with the Sunday 26 programme in the Belltable.


The event continues to honour the life and works of the Limerick author, Kate O’Brien, and building on this significant history, the Limerick Literary Festival seeks to promote Limerick nationally as a place of literary excellence and to provide a platform where readers can meet their favourite authors and other readers.

The theme for 2023 is resilience and centres around the Kate O’Brien quote, “And She Did Not Know That She Carried Armour.”

The festival will be opened by Shirley Keane and Fiona Linnane on Friday the 24th, and Saturday the 25th will feature authors Casey King, Sean Hewitt, Donal Ryan, Claire Louise Bennett and Doireann Ní Gríofa along with French Author Maylis Besserie who will be interviewed by Cliodhna Ni Ríordain.

Maggie O’Neill will lead the Kate O’Brien Hour on Sunday the 26, preceding the presentation of the Kate O’Brien Award for 2023 with a reading by each of the three shortlisted authors, Sheila Armstrong, Emilie Pine & Olivia Fitzsimons.

This will be followed by the ever-popular Desert Island Books with Niall MacMonagle and Kay Sheehy who will be in conversation discussing their favourite books.

The festival will culminate with a very special event, The Road To Riverdance, an afternoon of music and chat with Riverdance Composer and Freeman of Limerick City Bill Whelan who will chat with radio broadcaster and comedian Dermot Whelan about his recently published memoir of the same name and will be accompanied by musical guests fiddler Zoe Conway and her guitarist husband, John McIntyre.

Other highlights will include the launch of an exhibition of archive materials from the late Limerick poet Desmond O’Grady which will go on display in the People’s Museum at Number 2 Pery Square and UL Poet in Residence Emily Cullen will give a reading at the Dooradoyle Library on Friday, February 24, at 11am.

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Discover the full Limerick Literary Festival programme.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.