Michelle Dunne dingle literary festival 2020

The Dingle Literary Festival welcomed Michelle Dunne in 2020. Michelle was one of those sporty types growing up, all bony elbows and knees, and as she lived on an island, it stood to reason she’d spend her first couple of decades taking in the salty, seaweedy air at the local rowing club (not the serene-looking, posh rowing, but the other kind, undertaken by hardy fishermen).​

This was where she learned just about everything she ever needed to know about anything. They brought home the County’s, All-Ireland’s were won, but the banter on the bus was always the real prize. From there it made sense that she’d leave town and join another club/asylum and found herself wearing a blue helmet somewhere in South Lebanon.​

She’d become attached to the UN, but more importantly, to B-Company, the boldest, brightest, bravest the Irish army had to offer. She called them lots of other names too, but only to their faces. As tracer rounds lit up the sky above her and artillery rained down, she learned the words of every patriotic Irish song ever written and how to smile, laugh, and joke about things that would otherwise have you curled in a ball, rocking back and forth in the corner of the room.​

Once her eyes had been opened and she returned to Irish soil, Michelle was promoted and following a spell back at college, is now a part of a company providing physiotherapy and staff training in nursing homes and hospitals all over Munster. A slower pace, but still an unruly bunch when they want to be. She’s back living on the island of Cobh with her husband Dominic and their daughter Emily and the hundreds of colourful characters waiting to make their way onto a piece of paper.

Michelle Dunne and Cathy Kelly talked about the inspiration behind Michelle’s new novel
ONLINE – Date: Saturday 21st November Time: 6.30pm GMT


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.

Follow this link for news of this year’s festival