Maria Edgeworth Festival
of Literature & Arts

Event Details

Cultural Spectacle Infused with the Joys of Literature

Friday, 10th May 2024

Date & Time


Culture Night

Poetry and Story Readings, Music and Interview

From 07.30pm



The Green, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, N39VW40

About the Event

Begins at 7.30 p.m.

Introducing Victoria Kennefick and Sheila Forsey, who will provide their insights on the Poetry and Short Story submissions for this year’s Festival. They will also present  prizes to the winners, who will have the chance to read their winning pieces. 

Victoria and Sheila will also read from their own work.

Journalist Sheila Reilly will conduct an interview with Fergus Cronin about life.

Additionally, we will be treated to musical performances by soprano Corinne McCormack Bushell, Derek Mahady and harpist Lucy Sky Dunne.

What do I need to bring?

Refreshments will be provided.


  • Paid Event (€10)
  • Spaces are limited
  • Prebooking necessary


Matt Farrell – Edgeworth Festival Committee.

Many people believe that Matt is married to Maria Edgeworth. He was awarded the title of Heritage Hero 2017 due to his incredible passion and commitment. Matt is the driving force behind the Maria Edgeworth Centre, where he strives to preserve her memory and raise awareness about her, her family, and the remarkable heritage of Edgeworthstown.

Victoria Kennefick, judge for Poetry Competition

Victoria Kennefick’s debut collection, Eat or We Both Starve (Carcanet, 2021), won the Seamus Heaney First Collection Poetry Prize and the Dalkey Book Festival Emerging Writer of the Year Award. It was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Costa Poetry Book Award, Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry and the Butler Literary Prize. A UCD/Arts Council of Ireland Writer-in-Residence 2023 and Poet-in-Residence at the Yeats Society Sligo, Victoria is also an editor for the online poetry journal, bath magg. Her second collection, egg/shell will be published by Carcanet Press in February 2024.

Sheila Forsey is a writer and creative writing tutor from County Wexford. A deep interest in Ireland’s intricate past has led her to write historical fiction. She is a graduate from Maynooth University and Trinity College Dublin. She is the recipient of a literature bursary award from Wexford County Council and Artlinks. She has written three historical fiction novels and one contemporary novel, and her writing has reached the Irish Times Best Sellers list and her work has received many acclaimed reviews for giving a visual and textured insight into Ireland’s past.

Autor Sheila Forsey
Fergus Cronin, participant for Culture Night

Fergus Cronin is a native of Dublin and now divides his time between that city and North Connemara. After a career in water engineering he went on to pursue his abiding interest in the Arts. As a theatre practitioner he has performed Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape (at the Galway and Kilkenny Arts Festivals in 2010) and The Science of Flann O’Brien (at various venues in Ireland and Europe 2006 to 2012).
For a number of years he has been committed full time to writing. He completed an MPhil degree in Creative Writing at the Oscar Wilde Centre in TCD in 2014. . His stories have been published in The Old Art of Lying (an anthology of work from the Oscar Wilde Centre), Surge (a Brandon Books collection of new writing from Ireland), The Manchester Review and The Lonely Crowd. He was awarded the Maria Edgeworth Short Story Prize in 2022. Longlisted for the Irish Short Story of the Year (Irish Book 2023.
Night Music, published in 2023 by Doire Press, is a debut collection of short fiction.

Sheila Reilly is Head of Editorial Development with the Irish Examiner. A Cavan woman, she is a former editor of the Longford Leader where she worked for 20 years. She is a regular panellist on news and current affairs on radio and TV.

Sheila Reilly
Lucy Sky Dunne Harpist

Lucy Sky Dunne is an 18-year-old harpist based in Wicklow and Longford. She has been studying the harp in the TUD Conservatoire of Music since 2017. She plays Classical, Irish Traditional and Contemporary repertoire and has taken part in competitions such as Feis Ceoil, Newpark Music Festival and TUD in-house competitions. After passing her Grade 8 harp exam in December 2022, Lucy has started working towards an Advanced diploma in the Concert Harp, and has also passed Grade 8 in the piano and Grade 5 in the Double Bass. She is a first year student of Music at UCD and currently teaches Irish Harp, Piano, Guitar and Ukulele at the Greystones Music Academy in Co. Wicklow

Corinne McCormack Bushell is known for her involvement in community events and has contributed to organizing events like choral music and poetry gatherings.

Corinne McCormack Bushell
Derek Mahady

Derek Mahady is an Irish choral conductor, singer, pianist and music educator. In the Summer of 2012, he completed his Masters of Arts in Choral Conducting, having studied under Neil Ferris, Adrian Partington, Simon Halsey and Sarah Tenant-Flowers at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Derek has conducted in masterclasses with Simon Halsey (UK), Eric Whitacre (USA), Dr László Norbert Nemes (Hungary), Robert Dean (UK), Peter Broadbent (UK), Alice Farnham (UK), Dr Karen Grylls (New Zealand) and David Brophy (Ireland).
A recent performance included the premiere of Cadwyn, a set of Welsh Folk Songs especially arranged for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, by composer Gareth Glyn. This performance took place on Saint David’s Day, 1st of March 2012 and was held in the Dora Stoutzker Hall of the college in Cardiff. Derek conducted Cor Cadwyn and the RWCMD Brass Ensemble for this performance.
Derek studied voice, piano and music pedagogy at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Conversatory of Music and Drama. Subsequently, he completed a Higher Diploma in Education in Trinity College Dublin. As an educator, Derek provides choral workshops, individual vocal and piano tuition, musicianship classes and instruction for state music examinations. Derek performs regularly as a soloist and accompanist for concerts, recitals, weddings, funerals and other such events.

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