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Exploring the Curragh Wrens in Lore and Literature

11am | Newbridge Community Library

 Join us at the Kildare Readers' Festival as three local writers, Orla McAlinden, Ann Egan and Martin Malone meet to read from three very different works which explore the lives of the Curragh Wrens. Driven by destitution and desperation, the Curragh Wrens eked out a precarious existence as camp-followers of the thousands of soldiers who inhabited the Curragh during the reign of Queen Victoria. As the Famine drew to its close, it left tens of thousands of Irish women and children clinging to life. One hundred and seventy years later, the Wrens continue to intrigue our panel of writers. Malone, Egan and McAlinden will read from their works, discuss the Wrens and the writing process, concluding with a brief Q&A.

Due to the nature of the subject matter which will be discussed, this event is aimed at an adult audience, aged 16 and above.

Booking required. Contact Newbridge Library on 045 448353 or email


 Buaine Na Gaoithe with Ronan Molloy, Martin Dyar, Liz Pearse, Chelsea Czuchra and Lindsay Buffington

1pm | Athy Community Library

 American soprano Liz Pearse and renowned Swiss performers Lindsay Buffington (harp) and Chelsea Czuchra (flute) present a new song cycle by award-winning poet Martin Dyar and composer Ryan Molloy. Dyar and Molloy have achieved a powerful fusion of the best in contemporary classical sounds with the best of contemporary Irish poetry. This landmark work for soprano, flute and harp will appeal both to lovers of music and the written word. An atmospheric, lyrical and vocally adventurous journey, Buaine Na Gaoithe will be performed together with rarely heard works by the Finnish composer Kajia Saariaho and the American composer George Crumb. ‘A thrilling new development in Irish poetry …’ - Bernard O’Donoghue.

As a composer and performer, Ryan Molloy’s work has been performed to international audiences on four continents for over fifteen years, including major concert venues in Switzerland, Germany, England and Ireland. In great demand as an accompanist, he has recorded over a dozen albums and his repertoire spans numerous genres from traditional Irish music to contemporary classical music. Currently a lecturer in composition at Maynooth University, Ryan’s compositional work has won numerous prizes and has been broadcast both nationally and internationally on BBC Radio 3 and Radio Ulster, RTÉ Lyric FM, Radio 1, BBC 2, UTV and BBC World.  Several of Ryan’s works have been chosen to represent Ireland by the International Society for Contemporary Music, at the ISCM Musicarama in Hong Kong in 2015 and at the ISCM World New Music Day in Vancouver in 2017.

A discussion with the performers will be held from 1pm-2pm. The recital will begin at 3pm.

Booking required. Contact Athy Library on 045 980555 or email

500 x 167