Speakers 2017

Bernie Sanders revolutionised American politics. Sanders was a 2016 presidential candidate and is the longest serving independent in U.S. congressional history. Many believe he would have beaten Trump

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Muslim Sudanese-Australian engineer, author, television and radio presenter and activist. Founder and chair of an organisation based in Australia, Youth Without Borders, she is also a mechanical engineer with a passion for boxing and motor sport. More

Elif Shafak is an award-winning and best-selling novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey. Her books have been translated into forty seven languages. She has published 15 books, 10 of which are novels. More

Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poet, Tóibín has won many literary awards. Short listed for the Man Booker prize, he won the 2009 Costa Novel Award for Brooklyn. More

Lenny Abrahamson is a film and television director, best known for his films Adam & Paul, Garage, What Richard Did, Frank and the Oscar-winning Room.

Bruce Robinson is an English director, screenwriter, novelist and actor. He is arguably most famous for writing and directing the cult classic Withnail and I, How to Get Ahead in Advertising and The Killing Fields. More

Louis de Bernières is a British award winning novelist perhaps most famous for his fourth novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, an international bestseller. His latest novel is The Dust that Falls from Dreams.

Maggie O’Farrell is the author of seven novels including The Distance Between Us which won The Somerset Maugham award. The Hand That First Held Mine won the 2010 Costa Novel Award. More

Han Yujoo is a novelist who was born in Seoul, and in 2003 she made her literary debut by winning the new writer’s award from Literature and Society. She has published the short story collections and a novel The Impossible Fairytale.

Philippe Sands is a Franco-British barrister and professor of law at UCL. He is the author of sixteen books on international law. More

Marlon James is a multi-award winning Jamaican novelist and creative writing teacher whose most recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, won the 2015 Man Booker Prize.

Catherine Mayer is an American-born British author and journalist, and the co-founder, with Sandy Toksvig, of the Women’s Equality Party in the UK. She recently published Attack of the 50 Ft. Women: How Gender Equality Can Save The World.

Banville has received numerous awards in his career. His novel The Book of Evidence was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guinness Peat Aviation award in 1989. His fourteenth novel, The Sea, won the Booker Prize in 2005.


A.N. Wilson is an English writer of over 50 books including a biography of Queen Victoria on which the highly acclaimed TV drama “Victoria” was based. More

Mariella Frostrup was born in Norway and spent 10 years of her childhood in Co. Wicklow before moving to the UK. She is a journalist, TV presenter and respected art critic who has sat on many literary judging panels.

Billy Bragg is a singer songwriter and political activist who has been inspiring people to change the world for over 25 years.

Sebastian Barry, playwright, novelist and poet, grew up in Dalkey. Two of his novels were short-listed for the Man Booker prize and he is the first novelist to win the prestigious Costa award for best novel twice.

Seema Anand is a London based mythologist, storyteller, and doctor of Narrative Practices specialising in women’s narratives. Her work on the revival and reproduction of oral literature from India is associated with the UNESCO project for Endangered Oral Traditions.

Andrea Catherwood is an award-winning television and radio presenter and former foreign correspondent. More

Miriam O’Callaghan is an Irish television current affairs broadcaster, chat show host and radio presenter with RTE.

David Goodhart is a British journalist, commentator, and author. He is the founder and former editor of Prospect magazine.  More

Alec Russell is the editor of the FT Weekend, previously News Editor, and Comment Editor. And is the author of three books.


Roy Foster is an Irish historian, well known critic, broadcaster and author of many biographies including Churchill, Parnell and Yeats. More

Mehreen Khan is a Financial Times reporter with fastFT in London. She writes about finance and economics and was previously a business reporter at The Telegraph.

Dr. Sharad P. Paul, MD is a skin cancer surgeon, skincare expert, evolutionary biologist, author, and an adjunct professor at Aukland University of Technology. Born in England, with a childhood in India, he is a global citizen who lives Down Under. More

Born in Dublin, Orlagh Collins was Head of Physical Production at Pathe’ Films, where she oversaw numerous award-winning films including Breakfast on Pluto and The Queen.   More

Jana Bakunina is a journalist and has been published by New Stateman, The Spectator, Huffington Post and Pulse UK. Her interviews with inspiring women are published on Ladies Who Impress.

Dalkey resident and Oscar-winning film director who has won many awards for his films, for many of which he wrote the screenplay. He is also an award-winning novelist whose latest book, his eighth, is Carnivalesque.

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro is author of Island People:The Caribbean and the World. His work has appeared in The New York Review and many other publications.

Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector who escaped at only 17. She now lives in South Korea. She is an inspiring TED talker and an activist raising awareness of the plight of North Koreans. More

Olivia O’Leary is an Irish journalist, writer and current affairs presenter, as well as a much-admired and  well-known political analyst.

Paul McCulley was the economic brains behind the world’s biggest bond fund for over a decade and was voted number one bond economist in the US many times during his outstanding career. More

Michael Breen is an English author, consultant and journalist covering North and South Korea.

Simon Kuper joined the Financial Times in 1994. He wrote the daily currencies column, before leaving the FT in 1998. More

Patrick Geoghegan is professor of modern history at  Trinity College Dublin and presenter of the “Talking History” show on Newstalk.

Ayisha Malik’s debut novel, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged  was a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick in 2016. The sequel, The Other Half of Happiness has just been published. More

Jennifer O’Connell writes a weekly column in the Irish Times. She regularly contributes to programmes on Today FM, Newstalk, RTÉ Radio and RTÉ TV.

Comedian, bestselling author and broadcaster, Colm O’Regan has stood up and made people laugh all over the world. Colm’s debut book Isn’t It Well For Ye, The Book Of Irish Mammies is already a bestseller and was nominated for an Irish book award.

Karl Spain is a comedian and writer. He has performed stand up on television all over the world. Apart from his own RTE series Karl is a resident writer for Republic of Telly and for countless other comedians.

PJ Gallagher is one of Ireland’s best-loved comedians. He is most widely known for the huge success of many characters in the hilarious and sometimes outrageous hit TV show Naked Camera.

David O’Doherty is an Irish comedian, author, musician, actor and playwright. His stand-up has won many international awards including the if.comedy award in 2008 and Best International Comedian at the 2014 Sydney Comedy Festival.

Neil Faulkner is a British archaeologist, historian, writer, lecturer, broadcaster, and political activist. He has published many books; A People’s History of the Russian Revolution is his most recent.

Dave Randall is a guitarist, producer and composer. He has also contributed to multi-million selling Grammy award albums working with Dido, Sinead O’Connor, Faithless and many more. He recently published Sound System: The Political Power of Music.

Mark Little is an Irish journalist, television presenter, author and founder of social media news agency Storyful.

Paddy Cullivan of Callan’s kicks and the Late Late Show is also a composer, MC and political satirist . A man of many parts.

Donal Ryan’s memorable novel The Spinning Heart made it onto the 2013 Man Booker longlist It also won the 2013 Guardian First Book Award and the 2012 Irish Book Award. More

Rowan Somerville was born in the West End of London. He has worked in film, television and radio. He is the author of three novels, The End of Sleep and The Shape of Her and Beat: A Suicide Bomber and a Heart.

Mark O’Connell is author of To Be a Machine and his work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Observer, and The Independent.

Sinéad Crowley is arts and media correspondent with RTE News, and the author of the DS Claire Boyle series. More

Jane Casey is a best selling writer. Her first book The Missing and eighth book The Kill were both short listed for the Ireland AM Crime fiction Award.

Alan Amsby recently published his autobiography: Mr Pussy: Before I Forget to Remember. Born in London, he was a female impersonator, often hailed as Ireland’s “most misleading lady”

Kerrie O’ Brien has been published in various national and international journals. Her debut collection of poetry Illuminate was chosen as New Statesman and Irish Independent Books of the Year.

Too long to list here, Nick Dunning, Dalkey resident, has appeared in many plays at the Abbey and the Gate theatre as well as in film and on television, recently in The Tudors as Sir Thomas Boleyn and he has won many awards.

R.M. Clarke was born in Dublin. She is a writer, actress and much sought after voice over artist. An excerpt from her first novel, The Glass Door, won the Discovery Event at the Dalkey Book Festival and was winner in the Irish Writers Centre Greenbean Novel Fair 2016.

Sally Rooney was born in the west of Ireland in 1991. She studied English at Trinity College, Dublin, and her writing has been featured in The Dublin Review, The Stinging Fly, and Granta. Her first novel, Conversations with Friends has just been published.

John Boyne has published nine novels and five books for younger readers which include The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas which was a New York Times no. 1 bestseller. His latest novel is The Heart’s Invisible Furies.

Sandra Navidi, bestselling author of $uperHubs: How the Financial Elite and Their Networks Rule Our World, is the Founder and CEO of BeyondGlobal, a consulting firm advising on macroeconomic and strategic positioning. More

Dave has been described as the ultimate fan, who through broadcasting, has been able to make a career out of his many passions in life, chiefly, music and movies!

Lynn Stringer is an artist and a member of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists.

Clara Rose Thornton is a spoken word artist, culture journalist and radio and television broadcaster whose work focuses on the arts and their intersection with social justice, history, and place.

Patrick Freyne is a feature writer with the Irish Times and regularly appears on  Today FM. He has won the NNI Critic of the Year award.

A former primary school teacher, Judi Curtin has written 24 books for children and adults. For 2017 she was asked to write a special book to celebrate World Book Day in Ireland. Her latest book is Time After Time.

Blindboyboatclub is one half of The Rubberbandits, an Irish comedy hip-hop duo from Limerick city. During performances and interviews, they conceal their identities with masks made from plastic shopping bags.

Dr Shashi Tharoor MP is an Indian politician and a former diplomat who served for 29 years at the UN, culminating as Under- Secretary General..The highly articulate and attention-attracting former Union minister, refugee worker and human rights activist, is also the author of 15 books. An early adopter of social media, he has 5.2 million twitter followers.

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts development officer based in Belfast. More

Unravelling Oliver author Liz Nugent has spent the last 20 years working in Irish film, theatre and television. More

Fintan O’ Toole is an author, literary critic, historical writer, and political commentator. More

Roisin Dwyer is Commissioning Editor at Hot Press magazine, contributor to Radio Nova’s Rock Report and general music, movies, books and culture fiend.






Ian Robertson is Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin and was the founding director of Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, as well as Dean of Research of Trinity College from 2004-2007. More

Eithne is chief arts writer for Sunday Times Ireland, a presenter on TG4’s Ceol ar an Imeall and a regular contributor to RTE’s Arena. Her debut novel, Love in Row 27, is published this June.

Dr Jennifer Westrup is a consultant oncologist at the Beacon Hospital. More

Paddy Tobin is Chairman of the Irish Garden Plant Society.

David Kenny is a journalist, broadcaster, best-selling author and songwriter.

Paul Howard is a multi-award-winning journalist, author and comedy writer. He is best known as the creator of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, a fictional rugby jock whose exploits have been the subject of fourteen books, which have sold close to one million copies in Ireland. More

Martina Devlin is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. She has had nine books published. Her latest book is About Sisterland, and is set in the near future in a world ruled by women. Designed to be perfect, it all goes horribly wrong.

David McWilliams is an Irish economist, writer, broadcaster and journalist. He is a faculty member of the Trinity College, Dublin business school.

Myles Dungan is an Irish broadcaster and author of books on 19th century Irish history, the American west and the Great War. He has presented many arts programmes on RTÉ Radio, and has also been a sports broadcaster on RTÉ Television.

Fiona Looney is an Irish columnist, playwright, scriptwriter and media personality.

Colm Williamson is the founder of of the massively popular “Waterford Whispers News

Ruairi Robertson works in research and has a keen interest in food and health. He has a BSc in Human Nutrition and a PhD in Nutrition and Microbiology. More

Rick has been a broadcaster with RTE since 2001 both on RTE 2FM and with The Poetry Programme on RTE Radio 1. He also runs Ireland’s largest online book club.

Dearbhail McDonald is Group Business Editor at Independent News & Media.

Sarah Webb is an Irish writer for children and adults and an old friend of the Dalkey Book Festival. The new book in her The Songbird Cafe series “Girls Sunny Days and Mooncakes”  has just been published. More

Dalkey resident Gordon Snell is a famous author of children’s books and a scriptwriter.

Sinéad Gleeson is a writer, editor, freelance broadcaster and journalist. More

Sean Preston is Editor-In-Chief of Open Pen which is London’s first ‘Open Literature’ magazine, a FREE print publication comprised entirely of reader-submitted short fiction.

Catherine Dunne is an Irish writer. She was born in Dublin and studied English and Spanish at Trinity College, Dublin, before becoming a teacher. In 2013, she was awarded the Giovanni Boccaccio International Prize for Fiction for The Things We Know. More

Lia Mills is an Irish writer. She writes novels, short stories and literary non-fiction. She has also worked on several public art commissions and as an arts consultant.

Kelly Falconer is the founder of the Asia Literary Agency. She has contributed to the FT, the TLS and Spectator magazine, and she has worked as an editor in London for a variety of publishers.

Rosemary Jenkinson is a short-story writer, playwright and poet from Belfast. Her plays have been produced in Dublin, London, Edinburgh, New York and Washington DC.

Paula Shields is an arts journalist and researcher for RTE TV.

Ray Bassett is a diplomat and the former Irish ambassador to Canada.

Katie Donovan is a poet and journalist, winner of the2017 Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award and shortlisted for the 2017 Irish Times/Poetry Now Prize.

Yo-Yo Yoga is yoga for everyone from tots to teens in the Dublin and Wicklow areas. Y-Yoga is yoga for the grown ups. Slower paced, mindful and relaxing.

At Bewley’s Café Theatre, currently residing in the Powerscourt Theatre, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, there is no better way to enjoy the work of some of Ireland’s leading theatrical talents than up-close-and-personal at one of our lunchtime performances. More

Diarmaid Ferriter is one of Ireland’s best- known historians and is Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD. More

A classical 2d animator who has worked with Disney, Cartoon Network, our own David McWilliams and everyone inbetween. More

Andrea Martin is one of Ireland’s leading media and entertainment lawyers. She works with clients in film, radio, theatre, social media, publishing and music. More

Nadine O’Regan is the arts editor of the Sunday Business Post who also hosts the popular Songs in the Key of Life on Today FM on Sunday nights from 9pm. 

Celia de Fréine is a poet, playwright and screenwriter who writes in Irish and English.

Matt Cooper is an Irish journalist, author, television presenter and radio presenter of The Last Word on Today FM. He is a former editor of the Sunday Tribune.

Colm Keegan was shortlisted four times for the Hennessy XO New Irish Writing Award and was all Ireland Poetry Slam Champion 2010. More

Paul Greene is a criminal barrister who was appointed Senior Counsel in 2009.

David Butler is a novelist, short story writer, playwright, and poet. He has won several literary prizes, including the Ted McNulty Award from Poetry Ireland More

Sarah presents the weekly radio show Talking Point on Newstalk and writes for The Sunday Independent. She is a regular contributor to radio and television current affairs programmes.

Dalkey Senior Librarian Carmel Kelly is also the author of children’s books. Her Leanbh Nua, Spidey and An Tolg Draiochta are charming stories designed to be accessible to readers of all levels of Irish.

Jimmy is an Irish illustrator who has illustrated many books and for Irish publications.