Minister introduces Writers’ Month at Hammersmith and Fulham Irish Cultural Centre


The evening also hosted the UK launch of Felicity Hayes McCoy’s novel ‘The House on an Irish Hillside’.


By Bridget Burgoyne

Hammersmith and Fulham’s Irish Cultural Centre welcomed the Irish Government’s Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltach for the introduction to Irish Writers’ Month last Friday.

The evening also hosted the UK launch of Felicity Hayes McCoy’s novel ‘The House on an Irish Hillside’.

The Minister, Jimmy Deenihan T.D, said: “Ireland has always punched above its weight with writers the world over.”

Flautist Mary Rowsome and her 11-year-old son Mark Og accompanied Ms McCoy as she read extracts from her book.

Her time is divided between London and rural Ireland and she said that there were similarities between the two places in terms of community and a sense of belonging.

She expressed delight that the book, about her life in Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula and her love of the people who live there, was part of the literary festivities.

She said: “Irish writer’s month will be wonderful.”

Artists Fion Gunn and Linda Toigoan’s exhibition called ‘feast for the mind’ was on display throughout the evening.

The piece features books that have been sculpted and altered to show the important place that literature has in the artist’s lives.

Ms Gunn said: “There is something about the immigrant experience that brings everyone together.”

The forthcoming events are an exciting opportunity for everybody to experience Irish literature and culture in a welcoming venue.

Chairman of the Centre Jim O’Hara said: “The writers are Irish but it is open to everyone and anyone in London who is interested in writing, ideas and literature and the more people who come the better.”

The itinerary is packed with famous poets, playwrights, novelists, short story writers, broadcasters, journalists, film makers, musicians, artists, academics and historians all discussing, debating and presenting their work.

Included in the line up is Mary Kenny who will give a memoir performance of growing up in Dublin entitled ‘Dublin 4 Made Me’ on the 17 June.

Joseph O’Connor and Philip King are set to entertain their audience with ‘Whole World Round’ on the 21June following their sell out run at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre.

Mr Deenihan said he has supported the centre since he first visited two years ago and he was pleased to be able to launch writers’ month. 

He added: “Despite the financial challenges in Ireland at the moment the country is creating a lot of culture and literature.”

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