3,000 book enthusiasts set their sights on Ennis festival

ABOUT 3,000 book enthusiasts are set to descend on Ennis today for the fifth annual Ennis Book Club Festival.

Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright and author and actress Pauline McLynn are amongst a large number of literary figures due to attend the weekend festival

Chairperson of the organising committee, Ciana Campbell, said yesterday the festival will provide a much needed economic boost to Ennis and will help consolidate Co Clare’s status as a thriving cultural and arts centre.

“The numbers attending the Festival have grown year-on-year and we are expecting up to 3000 people from throughout Ireland, the UK and beyond to travel to Ennis this weekend.

“Hotels throughout Ennis and surrounding areas have been fully booked which is evidence of the massive economic lift that this festival delivers for the local hospitality and tourism sector.”

She said the festival’s continued success is complemented by the increasing number of book clubs being set up throughout Ireland.

“We conducted a survey of more than 120 existing book clubs throughout Ireland in late 2010 and found that approximately 45% of these were established during the last five years.”

Festival contributors will be playwright, film and theatre director, Peter Sheridan; author of Skippy Dies, Paul Murray; author and journalist, Justine McCarthy; former Mountjoy Governor John Lonergan; and author and senior lecturer in the Department of Modern English at University College Cork, Dr Eibhear Walshe.

Author of the acclaimed memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father?, Blake Morrison is also due to give a reading.

Past participants include Patrick McCabe, John Boyne, Lionel Shriver, Edna O’Brien, Joanne Harris, Brian Keenan, Roddy Doyle, Diarmuid Gavin, Hugo Hamilton, Allan Guthrie, Jennifer Johnston, John Connolly, Dermot Bolger, Fintan O’Toole, Tim Pat Coogan, Gerry Adams and the late Nuala O Faolain.

* ennisbookfestival.com

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