‘It’s so exciting that literature, Kells, the Irish and Hay are all coming together,’ said actress Sinead Cusack at the launch of Hay Festival Kells.
The first Hay Festival Kells and the first in the Republic of Ireland will take place on 28, 29 30 June and joins the extended family of Hay Festivals in 12 locations worldwide.
‘The Hay Festival celebrates literature and I’m an addict,’ said Cusack. ‘I have to have six books on the go at the same time.’
This was her first visit to Hay and she enthused about the fantastic atmosphere at the festival site and in the town.
At the launch were the Hay Festival Kells team, celebrating the culmination of two years of discussions that had led to the delivery of 50 events encompassing Irish and international authors, musicians and comedians.
Their aim is to ensure the town of Kells, 40 miles from Dublin, becomes a cultural destination. ‘The town is already gearing up for the Festival,’ said Geraldine Gaughran of the Kells delegation. A team of Local Heroes is painting the town and generally smartening it up, empty shops are turning into pop-ups, there will be walking tours, exhibitions and plenty of craic in addition toliterary lectures and discussions.
Actress Lisa Dwan, who will perform her acclaimed Not I Beckett play at Kells, emphasized what a great fit Hay and Kells were, and said, ‘I can’t wait to see the impact on the town of Kells’. Having worked with the Hay Festival in Wales for more than 10 years, she was certain the new venture would be a success. ‘After all,’ she said, ‘They say the Welsh are the Irish who couldn’t swim.’