Welcome to the wonderful, fascinating world of the Dalkey Book Festival. When we first started this, I had no idea we would meet so many amazing people, host so many brilliant thinkers/writers and, most importantly, have the craic doing it! But that’s how it is. It’s like having a huge party in your brain with extraordinary people, brilliant conversations and, like all good parties, you’ve no idea who’s going to turn up next, at what time or in what state! We’ve had many great moments, but one of the highlights of the past few years was the recent the visit of Bernie Sanders. It was a huge honour for the festival to host him. Thanks so much for your support. The festival is you the audience. Thanks for turning up in such huge numbers every year. Hope to see you out by the seaside in Dalkey and I hope you enjoy this, even half as much as I did! All the best
Bernie and his wife Jane arrived in Dublin early June 2017. I met them in the airport and rather than the formal handshake, Bernie gave me a huge hug and sat me down in Dublin airport and stated chatting. We didn’t stop. Jane – who’s DNA test reveals she’s 97% Irish – which is more Irish than most of us, bullied Bernie into making his first ever public appearance in Ireland. She clearly makes all the big calls in the relationship! We were delighted to be able to help Jane trace her roots back to Youghal and Cavan. She insists they’ll be back. Before the event, Bernie headed up to the Aras to meet the President, Michael D who was welcoming, charming and erudite as always. We are so lucky to have him. It was a lovely fly on the wall moment, watching the two of them leaning into each other listening intently to a beautifully spontaneous conversation about politics, literature, arts, economics, Trump, culture, globalization, the Irish football team and loads of laughs in between. We then made for the hotel where Jane sat with two genealogists and Bernie did an interview with the festival’s media partner The Financial Times Weekend. From there we headed straight to the theatre.