The Word: Crime, Plays and Poetry with Declan Hughes and Jessamine O’Connor

The Word welcomes writers Declan Hughes and Jessamine O’Connor on Wednesday 27th March in Sligo Central Library.

Declan Hughes is a co-founder of Rough Magic Theatre Company, a director, playwright and novelist. He is Literature Advisor to the Arts Council.  His plays have won numerous awards including the Stewart Parker New Playwright award and for his crime fiction he has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the American crime writing equivalent to the Oscars.

In an essay from 2000,  responding to representations of Ireland in theatre at the height of the Celtic Tiger, Declan asked “Who the hell do we think we still are?” It has been described as “one of the most important essays yet written about contemporary Irish drama,” challenging us to rethink how we represent Irishness. “Irish drama needs to show more guts” he writes. His own work is a response to this challenge, his crime novels shedding the pastoral in favour of the city and all its alienations and idiosyncrasies.

Reading with Hughes is Jessamine O’Connor, a poet living on the Sligo Roscommon border who has published five poetry chapbooks. Her next collection is coming out with Salmon Poetry in 2020. In her most recent publication, Pact, she writes about motherhood, displacement and loss. The scenes Jessamine captures, “are moments sliced open to hint at musculature and skeleton, writes Afric McGlinchey. “This is O’Connor’s strength: the small frisson, the chill that accompanies each personal encounter in these poems.”


Jessamine’s poems have won the Poetry Ireland Butlers Café Competition 2017, the iYeats; and Francis Ledwidge awards 2011 and have been shortlisted for many more, including the Hennessy Award. Her first film-poem will screen at Strokestown Poetry Festival in May. Jessamine is currently a student on the BA in Writing and Literature at IT  Sligo.


The writers will read from their work followed by a Q& A and an open-mic session. Local writers/musicans are welcome to read/perform at the open-mic which operates on a first come, first served basis. The Word is a collaboration between Sligo Central Library and the BA in Writing & Literature at IT Sligo. There is no charge for this event.


From the 1st of January, library members will not have to pay fines for overdue items and no existing fines will be collected.

1. Why did the library service remove overdue fines?

The removal of fines is a key aim of the new public library strategy Our Public Library 2022: inspiring, connecting and empowering communities which was published jointly by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the County and City Management Association and the Local Government Management Agency and launched by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D. in June 2018. The strategy states, ‘The library is a free lifelong resource that should be available to all without barriers or charges. Library charges have been shown to have a detrimental effect on library use by children and the disadvantaged. However, there is little evidence to show they ensure timely returns – rather they may actually dissuade members and users from returning overdue items. The elimination of overdue fines is another way for libraries to encourage people who might not regularly use the library to experience what they have to offer.
We are encouraging members of the public to return undamaged, overdue library items to their local libraries. There will be no fines to pay and we would be happy to reactivate your library membership for you to begin using your local library again.

2. Will overdue fines be removed on all materials?

There will be no overdue fines charged on any materials taken out from the library by library members from the 1st of January 2019.

3. Do I still have to pay a fine that was on my account prior to the library service becoming fine free?

All charges on members’ accounts as of the 1st of January 2019 will be removed.

4. I just paid off my late fines.

Do I get a refund? No. We do appreciate your responsible use of library materials. This new policy to eliminate overdue fines takes effect on the 1st of January 2019 and previously paid overdue fines will not be refunded.

5. Fines have been removed, so why does my account still have a balance?

Fines cannot be cleared from an account until the overdue item is returned to the library as the library management system does not charge fines to the account until this time. Once an item is returned, the system automatically charges the fine and this can then be cleared. Fines may be cleared on request by a library staff member, or a central clearing will take place once daily.

Overdue fines are being removed in libraries throughout Ireland from 1st January 2019. Fees for lost or damaged adult items will be charged and these will be shown as a balance on a library account.

Kiosks cannot remove fines, so library members who are charged fines at a kiosk will have to go to a member of staff to have them removed.

6. How will the library get people to return borrowed materials?

No fines does not mean no responsibility. You will continue to receive reminders and overdue emails to prompt you to return items to the library. Please return items on or before their due date to allow them to be borrowed by other library users. Please continue to renew your items online, by phone or in person at your local branch.

Please return overdue items once you receive an overdue notice. If there is an issue in returning the item, please contact a library staff member to discuss this.

If you do not either return an item or contact a library staff member to discuss an overdue item before you receive a third reminder, your card will be blocked from taking out or
renewing any further items, including e-books and e-audio books. Borrowing privileges cannot be restored until either the overdue item is returned, or you have made contact with a library staff member to discuss the matter.

7. When will I receive reminders about returning materials?

  • 3 Days Before Due Date: Reminder Email
  • 1 Day after Due Date: Reminder Email
  • 3 Weeks after Due Date: Reminder Email
  • 9 Weeks after Due Date: Item considered lost, card borrowing privileges blocked and user requested to present to the library

You can check the details of your membership including whether you have overdue items at any time by logging into your online account.

8. What happens if I lose or damage a book or other loan item?

There will be no replacement charge for children’s items which have been lost or damaged. Library members under 18 will not be asked to pay replacement costs. You will be asked to pay a replacement charge if the item which has been lost or damaged is an adult item. This cost will be calculated as the purchase price of the item.

Replacement charges can be paid at any library branch, regardless of where the item originated from.

Please note, if you have not notified the library of the loss or damage, your card will be temporarily blocked from borrowing or renewing items, including e-books and e-audio books until you make contact with a library staff member.

Dr Iggy Mcgovern Refracting Rhymes

Thursday 15th November 6.30pm, Sligo Central Library, Stephen Street, Sligo

Iggy McGovern is Fellow Emeritus in Physics at Trinity College Dublin; he is also an award-winning poet. He has published three collections of poetry: The King of Suburbia (Dedalus Press 2005), Safe House (Dedalus Press 2010) and The Eyes of Isaac Newton (Dedalus Press 2017); A Mystic Dream of 4 (Quaternia Press 2013), is his verse biography of the 19th century Irish mathematician and poet, William Rowan Hamilton. He edited the anthology 20|12: Twenty Irish Poets Respond to Science in Twelve Lines (Dedalus Press 2012).

Refracting Rhymes

Poet and physicist, Dr Iggy McGovern, will describe how the refraction of light leads to an assortment of atmospheric phenomena that includes the mirage, the rainbow, the Glory and the Green Flash. These are set alongside poems, from William Wordsworth to William Butler Yeats, that, whether in support or otherwise, leaven the physics and hopefully – as the Ancient Greeks would have it – “educate through pleasure”.


Bliain na Gaeilge Art Competition Winn

Mayor Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady along with Síomha Ní Ruairc of Bliain na Gaeilge presented Rachel Ní Gallachair of Gaelscoil Chnoc na Ré with a €1,000 award for the Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia and Bliain na Gaeilge art competition, in a presentation ceremony at Sligo Central Library.

Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 is a celebration of the Irish language and 125 years since the beginning of the Irish language revival. As part of the celebrations Bliain na Gaeilge and Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia held an art competition in the month of March with a €32,000 prize fund. Over 5,000 students took part in the competition and each county winner will receive €1,000 to be given to the winner and their school.

Speaking at the presentation, Síomha Ní Ruairc, Bliain na Gaeilge Co-ordinator, Conradh na Gaeilge said:

“It was great to be in Sligo Central Library today to present the county award for the Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia and Bliain na Gaeilge art competition. With the thousand of entries from all over the country Rachel Ní Gallachair and her teacher múinteoir Samantha Ní Bheirn should be very proud of their achievement today.”

Mayor Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady said:

“It was a great honour to present Rachel Ní Gallachair, Gaelscoil Chnoc na Ré with the Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia and Bliain na Gaeilge award. As Mayor it is always a great privilege to engage with schools in the county and to see such talent as evident today. Congratulations to Rachel, and Gaelscoil Chnoc na Ré”