BY SIOBHÁN CRONIN
AWARD-winning author Martina Devlin will be interviewed by fellow writer Liz Nugent at a Skibbereen Arts Festival event later this month.
Liz will interview Omagh-born writer Martina about her life and her work, including her recent novels, her courageous journalism and her special interest in Roger Casement.
Liz Nugent’s mother hails from Skibbereen and Martina Devlin is also a regular visitor.
Liz’s mother’s maiden name was Siobhan O’Donovan. She grew up in Skibbereen with her sister Phil and brother Dan. ‘My grandmother was the school teacher,’ Liz explained. ‘And my grandfather supplied milk to the town from his dairy herd. They lived just outside Skibbereen.’
Martina is married to RTÉ’s business correspondent David Murphy and the couple have been coming to West Cork almost every summer since they met.
‘David’s dad Jerry Murphy is from Cork city and David and his family have holidayed in West Cork since he was a nipper, mostly in Castletownshend, but also Baltimore. So when we started going out, one of the first places he brought me on a trip swas to West Cork, to see the Harry Clarke stained glass windows in St Barrahane’s church in Castletownshend, and of course to taste the seafood in Mary Anne’s,’ she told The Southern Star.
Martina has had nine books published, ranging from The House Where It Happened about Ireland’s only mass witchcraft trial, to About Sisterland, set in the near future where Big Sister is watching you. Prizes she has been awarded include a Hennessy Literary Award and the Royal Society of Literature’s VS Pritchett Prize. A current affairs commentator for the Irish Independent, she has been named Columnist of the Year by the National Newspapers of Ireland. She is also vice-chair of the Irish Writers Centre.
The event takes place at the Ludgate Hub on Townshend Street at 6pm on Saturday 30th July and tickets are €6.
Both writers will also participate in a ‘Dinner with the Writers’ event on Sunday July 31st at 7.30pm in The Good Things café. Here they will be joined by writers Afric McGlinchey, Claudia Carroll and Schull-based ER Murray and the idea is that each table will have a writer present to chat with them over dinner.
This is a unique opportunity for book lovers to share a table with a writer and discuss all things literary. Tickets are €30 and booking is essential.
Martina, whose says she ‘loves Skibbereen’, and is always very generous with her time, also told The Southern Star: ‘I’m happy to talk to any local bookclubs while I’m there over the weekend.’ She can be contacted via www.martinadevlin.com