[Y11] Kelly Gartland - A Harry Potter Workshop
[38] The Count: The Music of John McCormack, with Matthew Gilsenan
[15] Dave Nihill
[16] Lost Brothers
[35] Michael Harding
[Y3] Me, Molly & Moo
[Y5] Me, Molly & Moo

Hinterland 21-24 June 2018 

The Programme

We’re back! With a line-up that should keep everybody happy, covering literature, sport, history, cookery, politics, journalism, architecture, the law, music, travel, security and much more besides. In addition to our usual host of literary guests (Colm Tóibín, John Banville, Lisa McInerney, Liz Nugent, Frank McGuinness, Maggie O’Farrell, Michael Harding, John McKenna) we also have a number of new strands to this year’s Festival. We welcome the Rick O’Shea Book Club for the first time. Rick will be discussing Oh My God What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen with four onstage critics – the authors themselves will be joining us to talk about their best-selling book.

Our history events this year (‘Remembering 1918’ and ‘Remembering 1968’) will come under the aegis of The History Show Festival  as we collaborate again with the RTE Radio 1 Sunday night programme. The list of speakers includes Prof. Roy Foster, Catriona Crowe and Dr. David McCullagh. ‘Adventures in …’ will draw on the experience and resources of two experienced practitioners who will talk about how their professions have changed over the last three or four decades. This year’s guests are former Chief Justice Susan Denham and literary agent Jonathan Williams.

County Meath’s ‘Crinniú na nÓg’, a major Creative Ireland nationwide project, will take place in Kells on 23 June. All our children’s, teen’s and Young Adult events that day will carry the ‘Crinniú na nÓg’ brand and entry will be free of charge. Another major children's strand in 2018 is our celebration of Harry Potter at 21, wizardy events will include a Quiz, a Treasure Hunt and a Kelly Gartland Workshop.

Peter Fallon will be back in the Church of Ireland hosting Oisin and Saramai Leech in another intimate evening of words and music. Tom Dunne returns with another classic album, it’s the Beatles again, this time it’s the fiftieth anniversary of The White Album. Local divo (is there really such a word?) Matthew Gilsenan (The Celtic Tenors) will perform the music of John McCormack in a setting often graced by the celebrated Irish lyric tenor, the ballroom of Headfort House.

Among the major non-fiction events will be the appearance of former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, public interviews with Nick Davies, the Guardian investigative journalist who exposed the phone hacking scandal, Mary Manning, the woman at the centre of the 1984 anti-apartheid Dunnes Stores strike (along with co-writer Sinead O’Brien), and Tracy Corbett-Lynch, sister of the murdered Irishman Jason Corbett, who has co-authored a book on his murder with Ralph Riegel.

For more details view Programme & Tickets.

For details of joining Friends of Hinterland please email

Lit Crawl

Our association with the San Francisco Litquake Festival, via our climactic Sunday evening Lit Crawl will continue. It will be enhanced this year as we ‘twin’ with the Belfast Book Festival’s Lit Crawl in an exchange of events. We are sending them a three-hander drama and they’re giving us Jan Carson and Hannah McPhillimy for a session of train stories and music.

Read more here

Video: Meath Daily

Video: Noel Shine

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‘I loved every single second … I truly did. It was all so beautifully organised, one lovely person after another.’ Ally Bunbury
‘Thank you for hosting me with such charm and generosity.’ Peter Frankopan
‘In a short time you’ve put on a very prestigious festival.’ Danny Morrison
‘It was a superbly organised event with a wonderful atmosphere - a total pleasure for us to be there. We were so warmly welcomed from the moment we arrived and felt very looked after.’ Mary-Elaine Tynan
‘It was a real pleasure to be in Kells for the festival and there really was an amazing buzz about the place.’ Dermot Bulger
‘The @HinterlandKells festival was great. Loved my own event. Wanted to hang around longer. Met great authors. How a festival should be.’ Shane Hegarty on Twitter
What kind and friendly folk the people of Kells are. I was invited to do an event at the Hinterland Festival and the lovely Helen and I were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived at 'The Green Room' at the BookMarket, Kells. Such a gorgeous café and book shop. A big thanks to Jess, Trish, Penny and Annie. There was a great turnout for me in Kells Theatre where I was interviewed by the delightful Georgina Godwin. Then a terrific signing organised by the indefatigable Antonia from Antonia’s Bookstore in Trim. I met an old friend, Fiona Halton who introduced me to her lovely mother, Kitty and her brother, Cathal, who wouldn't let me leave their amazing shop and off-licence, McEntee’s Off Licence, without the gift of a scrumptious home-made coffee cake and rhubarb tart. (I shared with Helen). Patricia Scanlan on Facebook