Paul Lynch is the Booker-nominated, prize-winning author of five novels — Prophet Song, Beyond the Sea, Grace, The Black Snow and Red Sky in Morning. Prophet Song, which was published this August, has been long-listed for The Booker Prize. He has won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, and France’s Prix Libr’à Nous for Best Foreign Novel, among other prizes. He has been shortlisted for many international awards, including the UK’s Walter Scott Prize, and France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, Prix Littérature-Monde, and the Jean Monnet Prize for European Literature. He lives in Dublin
Barbara Scully is a well known writer, columnist, and broadcaster in Ireland. She is frequently published in the national press and magazines. Her first book, ‘Wise Up, Power, Wisdom and the Older Woman’ was published in summer 2022 and has been widely well received. Marian Keyes described it as “a warm, accessible, personal account of what it is to be a woman - and the unexpected courage and freedom we get as we age”.
Barbara is a familiar voice on radio and TV, contributing to talk shows on both local and national radio and has a weekly ‘agony aunt’ slot on the Moncrieff Show on Newstalk radio (national radio).
Barbara is married to the photographer Paul Sherwood. They have three daughters, two grandchildren, a dog, four cats, and a resident fox in their garden near Dun Laoghaire, in County Dublin.
For almost fifty years, Michael Harding has been crafting words in a bid to express himself and to explore truths about the human condition. But even still he found himself unable to say certain things he really wanted to. Then, while in recovery from surgery, he travelled to a cottage on the Atlantic coast and thought again about life and the people who had profoundly affected him over the years: mentors, loves and old friends. There at the ocean he wrote letters, with an intimacy not previously risked. Letters that would never be posted but that feature in his latest book All the Things Left Unsaid – a vulnerable and beautifully wrought collection of insights into life, death, friendship and love.
Join Ireland’s master-storyteller as he takes to the stage of a small number of venues following a sold-out tour in the early months of 2023. His legion of fans across the country will once again revel in his stories, told with great humour, warmth and honesty.
Joanna Donnelly is a meteorologist and weather forecaster at Met Éireann and RTÉ. She has a regular slot discussing the news of the day on the RTÉ Today Show. Joanna is passionate about explaining the science behind the weather in language that is accessible for everyone, seen in her two books: The Great Irish Weather Book for children (2018, Gill Books), and From Malin Head to Mizen Head (2023, Gill Books), a journey around Ireland’s Sea Area Forecast in which she sweeps readers away on her travels to each of Ireland's headlands. She is married to meteorologist Harm Luijkx and they live in Portmarnock with their three children.
Richard Hogan is a systemically trained Family Psychotherapist registered with The Family Therapy Association of Ireland. He writes every Thursday for theIrish Examiner. His column ‘Learning Points’ explores his progressive approaches to mental health promotion. He is the author of the best-selling book ‘Parenting the Screenager’. This book is a practical and accessible guide for parents of the modern child. The book received critical acclaim from The Irish Times as a ‘must buy for any parent of a teenager’. And his recent publication, ‘Home is where the Start is’ was a national bestseller. He is the clinical director of the award-winning psychotherapy and counselling service Therapy Institute. Oxford University invites Richard as a keynote speaker at its annual educational symposium. Richard is the leading contributor on RTÉ ‘Raised by the village’. Richard is also an expert contributor on Virgin media’s most successful launch of an original programme, ‘Eating With The Enemy’. He is also a regular contributor on shows such as, Drivetime RTÉ Radio 1, The Hard Shoulder Newstalk, The Today Show RTÉ, Ireland AMVirgin Media, The Tonight Show with Claire Brock, and he is a regular contributor on The Brendan O’ Connor show where he offers his expertise and progressive strategies for better mental health promotion.
Dr. Katriona O'Sullivan
Dr Katriona O’Sullivan is a psychologist and memoirist. Her first book, Poor, debuted at #1 on the Irish Non-Fiction bestseller list. The book, a memoir of growing up in extreme poverty, describes the far-reaching impact of childhood poverty. As one of 5 children in a home shaped by her parents' heroin addiction, Katriona's story chronicles her journey from poverty, teenage pregnancy, homelessness to graduating with a PhD from Trinity College Dublin and becoming an award-winning lecturer whose work challenges barriers to education. Poor is her stirring argument for the importance of looking out for our kids' futures. Of giving them hope, practical support and meaningful opportunities.
Katriona is also Senior Lecturer in the Assisting Living & Learning Institute, Department of Psychology, Maynooth University. She is the Principal Investigator on the STEM Passport for Inclusion project, featured recently on RTE Changemaker series. She has held research grants from the Irish Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland leading an initiative to tackle digital inequality in education. She also successfully led the largest HEA PATH funded programme entitled Turn to Teaching which focused on diversifying teacher education. She has been invited speaker at the World Education Forum, the European Gender Action Workshop on Women and Digitalization and most recently at the UN gender equality workshop. She has worked with Irish policy makers to develop policies around education and inclusion. She has published research on equality, gender, education, inclusion and STEM.
One of the country’s most respected and accomplished actors, Belfast-born Stephen Rea first came to prominence in the 1970s as a stage actor, performing in renowned venues including Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and the Royal Court in London while collaborating with an array of major authors and playwrights, among them Sam Shepard and Sebastian Barry. He has worked closely with Brian Friel with whom he co-founded the Field Day theatre company in 1980. Poet and Nobel prize winner Seamus Heaney was one of the earliest supporters of Field Day, a cultural and artistic response to the sectarian violence, history and politics of Northern Ireland, and subsequently collaborated with the company and sat on its board of directors.
On screen, Rea’s creative partnership with writer and director Neil Jordan has produced a formidable body of work, ranging from an Academy Award nominated performance in ‘The Crying Game’ to acclaimed films including ‘The Butcher Boy’ and ‘Michael Collins’. He has also worked with a range of top directors including the Wachowski sisters (‘V for Vendetta’) and at this year’s Irish Film and Television Awards won Best Actor for his role in the BBC western series, ‘The English’.
In recent years this immensely versatile actor has performed Heaney’s translation of Virgil’s Aeneid Book VI in Ireland and the US, alongside composer and cellist Neil Martin.
Colm O’Regan is a best-selling and critically acclaimed broadcaster, author, comedian
He is the author of seven best-selling books including the Irish Mammy trilogy, Bolloxology and the two Ann Devine novels (‘A heart-warming Irish tale provides a much-needed lift in spirits’ Sunday Times ‘very funny’ Irish Times) and Climate Worrier (A winning combination of drily hilarious and thought-provoking, often all at once.’ - SUNDAY INDEPENDENT)
He hosts Ireland’s most successful storytelling night the Dublin Story Slam and is resident MC at Inn Jokes, one of Dublin’s longest established Comedy Clubs as being an after-dinner comedian and MC at many of Ireland’s top events.
As a stand-up comedian, he has performed all over the world. His stand-up has also featured on RTÉ’s Late Late Show and on Comedy Central.
Colm has written and presented the multi-award winning RTE 1 Radio comedy show Colm O’Regan Wants A Word since 2016. (‘An excellent series presented by the Cork genius’ Irish Independent).
Colm writes a weekly column about ‘everything and anything’ for the Irish Examiner.
Matt Cooper is a TV and radio broadcaster, newspaper columnist, and award-winning journalist. The presenter and editor of the popular weekday Today FM programme, “The Last Word”, is also a best-selling author whose books have frequently been short-listed for prestigious awards. His biographies, The Maximalist, the rise and fall of Tony O’Reilly and Michael O’Leary, turbulent times for the man who made Ryanair were both short-listed for Irish Non-Fiction Book of the Year. His 2009 book, Who Really Runs Ireland? was a number one best-seller, and was followed two years later by How Ireland Really Went Bust.
Now Matt has written about the fascinating topic of Who Really Owns Ireland?. The Rolling Sun is delighted to welcome Matt back to the festival to talk about who actually controls the property where we live, work and play, and how they acquired so much. His meticulously-researched book also looks at the foreign investors in Ireland’s wind-farms, forestry, data centres and other infrastructure, asking why they are investing--and what it means for the rest of us.