May Public Holiday Weekend

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The Word Live in Sligo Central Library – Louise Kennedy ‘Trespasses’ – Official Book Launch. In conversation with Susan McKay. Music with Cathy Jordan.

Join us LIVE in Sligo Central Library on Wednesday 27th April, for a special edition of The Word with award-winning and acclaimed LOUISE KENNEDY, for the launch of her debut novel, Tresspasses. Louise will be in conversation Sligo Library Writer in Residence for Sligo Libraries, Susan McKay.

With live music with Cathy Jordan.

This is a FREE, unticketed event and seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

‘This writer does not stint’ Anne Enright, Observer
‘Dazzling’ Guardian
‘Kennedy’s voice, and her unforgiving gaze, are electric’ Sunday Times
‘A literary star is born’ Irish Examiner

Trespasses: Cushla Lavery lives with her mother in a small town near Belfast. At twenty-four, she splits her time between her day job as a teacher to a class of seven-year-olds, and regular bartending shifts in the pub owned by her family. It’s here, on a day like any other – as the daily news rolls in of another car bomb exploding, another man shot, killed, beaten or left for dead – that she meets Michael Agnew, an older (and married) barrister who draws her into his sophisticated group of friends.

When the father of a young boy in her class, becomes the victim of a savage attack, Cushla is compelled to help his family. But as her affair with Michael intensifies, political tensions in the town escalate, threatening to destroy all she is working to hold together.

As tender as it is unflinching, Trespasses is a masterfully executed and intimate portrait of those caught between the warring realms of the personal and political, rooted in a turbulent and brutally imagined moment of history – where it’s not just what you do that matters, but what you are.

Louise Kennedy grew up in Holywood, Co. Down. Her short stories have appeared in journals including The Stinging FlyThe TangerineBansheeWasifiri and Ambit and she has written for the GuardianIrish Times, BBC Radio 4 and RTE Radio 1. Her work has won prizes and she was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award in both 2019 and 2020. Before starting her writing career, she spent nearly thirty years working as a chef. She lives in Sligo with her husband and two children.

Critical acclaim for The End of the World is a Cul de Sac

‘Dazzling … With their sensitivity to people’s vulnerabilities and failings, and their sharpness of imagery, these 15 taut tales recall Annie Proulx at her best: salty, wise, droll and keen to share the lessons of a lifetime’ Guardian

‘Like 15 novels squeezed between two covers, ready to blow your mind. The only other writer I can think of who packs this much moving, terrible life into each story is Alice Munro. All hail Louise Kennedy’ Emma Donoghue

‘Outstanding … A storyteller of stunning gifts and immense authority. This is writing that makes Francis Bacon at his bleakest seem like Mary Poppins’ Joseph O’Connor, Irish Times

‘These stories sing, haunt and inspire laughter. One of the best Irish short story collections I’ve read in years. If you want to learn how to write fiction, read this book’ Sinéad Gleeson

‘Darkly funny, beautifully crafted, intense – an outstanding first collection from a natural story writer’ Kevin Barry

‘Louise Kennedy’s collection will stop you in your tracks … Profound, beautiful and essential’

Liz Nugent

‘Superb … Outstanding … Gritty, bitter, hard-won, the 15 stories in this first collection feel a world away from the seeming solipsism of the younger generation of female Irish writers who are conquering the literary world … Kennedy’s voice, and her unforgiving gaze, are electric’

Sunday Times

‘Dark, funny, brilliantly downbeat’ Daily Mail

‘To carve such gilded stories as these from such fathomless gorges of despair would be an accomplishment for an old master, let alone for a relative newbie. Yet Kennedy’s spritz of humour, as black as the holes these women are in, elevates her stories from downbeat to transcendent’ Sunday Independent

‘Masterful … She can make you laugh and wince at once … A writer very much in control of her craft’ Irish Independent

‘Authoritative, beautifully honed … Reminiscent in style of the late William Trevor’

Sunday Business Post

‘Breath-taking … A literary star is born’ Irish Examiner

Roscommon born Cathy Jordan has been a professional singer with traditional group Dervish for nearly 30 years. She has led Dervish as front woman through thousands of concerts in hundreds of cities in nearly 40 countries and has 16 albums under her belt.  Among the  most notable performances were The Great Wall of China and the biggest rock music festival in the world – Rock in Rio to over 250,000 people.

Dervish’ most recent album The Great Irish Songbook was released last year on Rounder records and features duets with Vince Gill, Steve Earle, Imelda May, David Gray and more. Over the years Cathy has picked up many awards for her contribution to traditional Irish music including BBC Lifetime Achievement Award 2019, Sligo Cultural Ambassador 2018, Annie McNulty Award 2014 and The Freedom of The City of Sligo in 2010.

Open Mic.

The Open Mic is a first-come, first-serve bases limited to five names. Names are taken on the evening, participants are asked to keep within a three minute time-frame.

The Word, Wednesday 27th of April, will take place in Sligo Central Library, Stephen Street from 6.30pm. This is a free unticketed event with limited seating, doors close at 6.30pm. .

This event will be Streamed on Facebook on the night.

The Word is a collaboration between Sligo Central Library and the BA in Writing & Literature at ATU.

There is no charge for this event.

[email protected]/ 0719111675

Easter Events at Sligo Central Library

Sligo County Libraries offer free book bags to all children starting school in September

All children starting school in September 2022 can get a free Book Bag at their local library.

The ‘My Little Library Book Bag’ initiative is a collaboration between libraries and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth as part of the First 5 Strategy.

As part of the initiative, a ‘My Little Library Book Bag’ is available free for every child starting school in 2022 to help them to prepare for this big step. Children and their parents or guardians can collect the bags at any library throughout [county].

Each My Little Library Book Bag contains:

  • Three books on starting school, making friends and being comfortable to be yourself
  • A story card on going to the library
  • A postcard the child can write or draw on and send to their new teacher, or bring to give to the teacher on their first day at school
  • Their very own library card and special ‘My Little Library’ cardholder

Book bags are available in both Irish and English.

Inviting all children starting school this year to come and collect their Book Bag, Patricia Keane, Senior Executive Librarian and Right to Read co-ordinator, said:

“Sligo County libraries are delighted to be involved in the First 5 My Little Library initiative and we can’t wait to welcome all the 4 and 5 year old children in to collect their book bags and begin their library membership journey.

“Reading is so beneficial for learning, imagination and creativity, and stories can really help children to understand and deal with the steps they take as they grow, like starting school.

“We hope that once they visit the library to pick up their book bag, our new library members and their families will come back regularly to keep their bag filled up with borrowed books and to take part in storytimes, classes and all the other events we have to offer at the library.”

Sligo County libraries are ready to greet the families and welcome new members of all ages. This initiative also presents an opportunity for parents to bring older or younger children along to join the library and borrow their own books.

More supports to help the transition to primary school are available on the Let’s Get Ready page on

Sligo Libraries Writer in Residence Susan McKay – Writing Course

Legacies writing course with Sligo Libraries Writer in Residence Susan McKay

Starting on Saturday 23rd April 2022 at 2:30pm, at Sligo Central Library, the course will run for 8 weeks and is free.

A hundred years ago Ireland was engulfed in a civil war that saw families and communities bitterly divided.  Would you like to explore and write about the legacy of these events in the Sligo region?  Join an 8 week course run by author and journalist Susan McKay.  Open to experienced and inexperienced writers in all genres including poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction.

You will have the chance to work in a diverse group, learn new skills and hear from guest writers.

Saturday afternoons 2.30 til 4pm from 23rd April at Sligo Central Library.

The course is free but numbers are limited.  Apply by sending max 300 words to [email protected] on or before 14th April.

Starting on Saturday 23rd April 2022 at 2:30pm, at Sligo Central Library, the course will run for 8 weeks and is free.

Limited places available please email [email protected] to register your interest.

The Writer in Residence is part of Sligo County Council’s Decade of Centenaries programme.

Supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative