Saturday, 18th November 2017
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Journalist and author Des Ekin will take to the stage at the 15th annual Immrama Festival of Travel Writing on Friday, June 16th.

His bestselling book The Stolen Village (2006) was shortlisted for the Argosy Irish Nonfiction Book of the Year Award and also shortlisted for Book of the Decade in the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, it details the 1631 Barbary pirates kidnapping of the inhabitants of Baltimore in West Cork and their subsequent sale into the slave market. Des began his career as a reporter at age 16 and rose to become Deputy Editor of the Belfast Sunday News before moving to his current home in Dublin. He worked as journalist, columnist, Assistant Editor and finally as Political Correspondent of the Sunday World from 1982 until 2012. He has also written two crime novels, Stone Heart and Single Obsession. In 2014 his book The Last Armada, details his account of the Spanish invasion at Kinsale, was nominated for Nonfiction Book of the Year.

Des joins a stellar line up for the festival in the heritage town of Lismore, including one of Britain’s leading foreign correspondents and best selling author Christina Lamb OBE. Christina will take to the stage in Lismore, Co. Waterford at 3pm on Saturday, June 17th. She has reported from most of the world’s hotspots but her particular passions are Afghanistan and Pakistan which she has covered since an unexpected wedding invitation led her to Karachi in 1987 when she was just 21. Within two years she had been named Young Journalist of the Year. Since then she has won numerous awards including five times being named Foreign Correspondent of the Year and Europe’s top war reporting prize, the Prix Bayeux.

The other keynote speaker for the festival is humanitarian and author Terry Waite CBE who will take to the stage at 8pm on Saturday, June 17th.

The festival gets underway on Wednesday June 14th with the screening of two films, ‘Mongolian Rhapsody’ and ‘Back to Jamaica both by Paddy Hayes. Mongolian Rhapsody follows the journey of Irish fidler Daire Bracken as he embarks on a musical pilgrimage to Mongolia.

On Saturday, June 17th Adventurer and author Andrew P. Sykes who will tell of his travels on his bicycle ‘Reggie’ on epic journeys across all of Europe. And historian Donald Brady will offer a talk on Katherine Cecil Thurston 1874-1911: New Woman Author and Ardmore Resident. Writer and documentary maker Tom Feiling will host the festival’s famous literary breakfast at Immrama at 8.30am on June 18th. Tom lived in Colombia before making Resistencia: Hip-Hop in Colombia, which won numerous awards at film festivals around the world.

On the final day of the festival ‘Family Fun Sunday’ will take place at the Millennium Park, the Lismore Farmers Market will be on the castle avenue. Full details of the festival programme and for event tickets for the Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writing 2017 see or call (058) 53803.


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    Paradise papersOne of the most surprising things about the release of the copious amounts of tax details of some of the richest people on the planet wasn't the names of the people involved but the fact that three of them were actors from Mrs. Brown's Boys. Between them the three had accounts nearing 2 million euros in off-shore accounts and let's face it, these people aren't exactly Robert De Niros or Meryl Streeps but three bog standard, and that's putting it mildly, actors, from a middling comedy serie …

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