WHO WE ARE
Colm Toibín, has been President of Listowel Writers’ Week for as long as we can remember. World renowned author of over 15 Novels, he has also written short story collections, plays, essays and poetry. He has been shortlisted for the Booker prize several times and won the Costa Novel Award for his novel Brooklyn which went on to become an Oscar nominated film starring Saoirse Ronan. His latest book is ‘Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know, the Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce’. Colm is a Wexford man and in all his time as President, he has never said no to our invitations. He always turns up on time and is a great hugger …
Catherine is born and bred Listowel and as she says herself, she is a “child of Listowel Writers’ Week”. She is a senior lecturer in the IT College in Tralee, an avid golfer, hill climber and a worldwide city breaker! Catherine is super organised and has a fetish for notebooks and lists and is currently pulling down her house to build it back up again. If you want a film, tv or gig recommendation, Catherine is your woman, she is our fountain of knowledge.
Sharon’s ideal world is full of innovative businesses and creative people engaging in a fun and friendly way. She is a marketing fanatic and gets a thrill out of seeing a good idea come together. When she switches off from her work you’ll find her cooking up a storm of a meal, designing another interior space or soaking up the air and sunshine on the #WildAtlanticWay at Ballybunion Beach. For more relaxing days a good book must come bundled with a comfy chair, yummy chocolate and a warm cuppa! Her favourite quote is by Charles Dickens: “Never say never” because you just don’t know what might happen, as she believes that everything is possible!
The aptly named Ms Wren is the little tweety bird of our office. While the rest of us munch through biscuits by the bucket, not stylish Eilish, she opts for a corner or half of anything edible. We are in awe! She elevates the office glamour status with a different jacket for every day of the week, a bag for every occasion and the social graces of a beautiful butterfly. Eilish looks after our beloved patrons and sponsors and if there are funds to be eeked, she is the queen of eeking!
Sinead McDonnell is still the ‘newbie’ in the office despite sweeping us off our feet nearly a while ago now. A ‘nut butter’ connoisseur who has introduced the office to falafels, recycling and eating at least once an hour! Ms ‘Febreeze’ is a proud Cork woman (they are taking over the asylum!) and mother to Liam and Lily. Nothing is a bother to Sinead as she lightens the festival load from the rest of us with a big smiley head. She looks after workshops and creative writing competitions for Listowel Writers’ Week. She had a modest obsession about her Dunnes Stores vouchers for some time, but things have settled somewhat.
We are smitten.
How do you solve a problem like Maria? Our Maria looks after the National Children’s Literary Festival. She is probably one of Irelands, if not Europe’s finest golfers, boasting prizes of jewels and shoes every Tuesday morning. She has dodgy shoulders though, so these are blamed when she has an off day. Maria is dog crazy…her dogs Coco and Petal are her two true loves. Walking around Listowel, she waves at dogs on the streets and thinks this is normal. Her Cork charm draws the finest of children’s writers and entertainers to Listowel every summer. Maria’s background is in the food and catering industry but she no longer cooks or bakes.
Voluntary Festival Committee
Board of Directors: David Browne, Elizabeth Dunn, Michael Lynch, Sean Lyons, Joanna O’Flynn, Madeleine O’Sullivan, Rose Wall, Catherine Moylan, Eamonn Dillon
Carmel Myers O’Brien
Miriam Slemon Griffin
Fr Donal O’Connor