Life on Skellig Michael with Catherine Merrigan & Robert L. Harris, chaired by Deanna O’Connor
An Saol ar Sceilg Mhichíl – Catherine Merrigan agus Robert L. Harris, faoi chathaoirleacht Deanna O’Connor
Every year, guides are employed to live on the island during the summer season, to welcome tourists and show them around this UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a tough but rewarding job.
Dingle Peninsula resident Catherine Merrigan has been travelling to work Skellig Michael for the last 20 years, spending every summer, except for during the pandemic in 2020, on the spectacular rocky island off the Iveragh Peninsula.
When the island was closed to visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, she gathered years of diaries and photographs and took advantage of time to reflect and write about the unique experiences of her summers. Last year Catherine Merrigan released Living Among the Puffins on Skellig Michael, a memoir recounting her life on the island, along with beautiful original photography.
This year, another warden of the Skellig, Robert L. Harris, has brought out a book detailing his experiences on the mystical isle off the Kerry Coast, entitled, Returning Light: 30 Years of Life on Skellig Michael. Dingle Lit is delighted to bring together these two people who have shared the extraordinary experience of living parts of their lives on the Skellig, to compare their perspectives and thoughts on the solitude, spirituality and ecology of this very special place.
Deanna O’Connor is a founding member of the organising committee of the Dingle Literary Festival. She is an award-winning magazine editor who now freelances for corporate clients, working from the inspiring office space at Dingle Creativity and Innovation Hub. She also writes regularly for the Sunday Business Post. She is the founder of The Speak Up Club, a social enterprise working to empower women as leaders in business and the community.ge
The Dingle Literary Festival was established in 2019 to create an annual book festival to bring readers and authors together in West Kerry. It’s a literary festival that celebrates living writers as well as honouring the literary heritage of the area. Festival events happen in both Irish and English and range across all genres and age groups. We present both author events and writers’ workshops.
Our vision is of a festival where literature, language and landscape converge to create moments to share stories, to connect minds and allow magic to blossom. It’s a place that sparks discussion, fosters innovation and collaboration in the arts and creates a multigenerational community of readers and writers.
The Dingle Literary Festival is a book festival that elevates and celebrates the richness of Irish language and literature in contemporary life. We encourage a vibrant, relevant literary community to support both established and emerging writers.