Set against the backdrop of the historical beauty of Lismore Castle, festival goers will be taken on a literal voyage across the globe this month, as the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing was launched.
From 16-19 June this year’s festival has a theme of War and Peace and has keynote speakers such as Kim Phuc, best known as the nine-year-old in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo during the Vietnam War in 1972 and BBC foreign correspondent Fergal Keane OBE.
A Fringe and Family Fun Programme has also been announced for the festival. Festivalgoers young and old will have the opportunity to listen to fascinating tales from some of the most famous travel writers in the world, younger Festival goers will have the opportunity to participate in tours of an ancient Cotton Library and relax at the traditional ‘Free Family Fun Sunday’ afternoon in the town’s Park.
Opening the festival on Thursday, 16 June is an Italian Film and Wine evening, with a racing theme when Italian film Palio will be screened at Lismore Heritage Centre accompanied by some tastes from Italian vineyards.
On Friday evening journalist Peter Murtagh will take about his travels on Camino de Santiago, the Portuguese Camino and the Camino Primitivo. On the morning of 18 June historian Donald Brady will host a talk and a lunchtime reading will follow this with author Paul Clements.
Kim Phuc will take to the stage at 3pm followed by an evening with Fergal Keane at 8pm. Getting the show on the road on Sunday morning 19 June, best-selling author and award winning historical consultant Turtle Bunbury will host the festivals Literary Breakfast at Lismore House Hotel at 8.30am.
Family Fun Sunday will take place at the Millennium Park where music and entertainment will be on offer with the Lismore Farmers Market on the castle avenue.
Closing the festival on Sunday evening at 7.30pm environmentalist, long-distance walker and author Jim O’Malley will take to the stage at the Blackwater School hall in Lismore at the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing. He will tell his story of his seven-day journey, hardly an epic walk, but a memorable experience that has been recorded in his recent book – Walking the Munster Blackwater.
An Artisan Food and Drinks fair will accompany the talk with producers from all across the Blackwater region taking part.
Festival co-ordinator Jan Rotte said: “Immrama is set to attract not only speakers from across the Globe this year but visitors too, the level of interest in the festival programme this year has been phenomenal, the festival is 14 years old and to date this has been the best year yet in terms of ticket sales and interest. We are very excited to welcome all of our speakers and to welcome Kim Phuc to Ireland for the first time.”
• Full details of the schedule and tickets can be found at www.lismoreimmrama.com or call 003535853803.