Tuesday, 19th June 2018
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Ancient Cotton Library to open for Immrama

Global explorers are set to descend on the heritage town of Lismore this June 13th as the sixteenth annual Immrama Festival of Travel writing is set to get underway.

Visitors can enjoy talks with world-famous travel writes, writing workshops, poetry, historical presentations, music and entertainment and also visits to the usually closed Cotton Library will also be on offer.

The largely forgotten library located at St Carthage Cathedral and whose collection dates back centuries featuring many some rare and historical gems will open its doors to the public during the festival weekend.

The collection was started by Henry Cotton who was the sub-librarian at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, before becoming the dean of Lismore in 1834. Some of the rarest books in the collection include those on scripture that was owned by Robert Boyle who was born in Lismore Castle in 1627 and is one of the founders of modern chemistry along with a Latin Bible from 1542, and an intricately designed copy of the Koran from 1734. The collection is generally closed to the public and during the Immrama Festival weekend the Very Rev Paul Draper, the current dean of Lismore will host tours of the exquisite library.

Visitors to the festival will enjoy talks under the theme of ‘A Celebration of Global Exploration’ from June 13th to 17th. The festival will host keynote speakers Michael Smith, Tom Crean expert and best selling author; explorer and author Jacki Hill-Murphy as she plans to discuss her travels to some of the world’s most inhospitable places. And festivalgoers will have an opportunity to adventure down the Nile with author Rosemary Mahoney as she discusses her book ‘Down the Nile; Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff ‘. Hong Kong based author and journalist Isambard Wilkinson will discuss his "Travels in a Dervish Cloak" based on his time spent working in Pakistan as a foreign correspondent during the war on terror and author Bob Jackson will host the famous literary breakfast at Immrama on June 17th as he discusses the story of the incredible life of Dr Aidan MacCarthy the only person to have survived the two events that mark the beginning and end of World War II.

Author John Devoy opens the festival talks on the evening of Wednesday, June 13th with an introduction from his book Quondam, this will be followed by a screening of a documentary on the Irish aid effort in 1968 titled Biafra – Forgotten Mission. On the final day of the festival ‘Family Fun Sunday’ will take place at the Millennium Park, the Lismore Farmers Market will be on the Lismore Castle Avenue and a Gregorian Mass will take place at St. Carthage’s Cathedral.

Full details of the festival programme and for event tickets see http://www.lismoreimmrama.com or call (058) 53803.

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