The 41st Writers Week was officially opened by President Michael D Higgins at the Listowel Arms Hotel last night. With wonderful summer balmy conditions there was an electric atmosphere inside and outside to welcome President Higgins. Upon being introduced by Writers Week’s Chairman Mr. Sean Lyons, the President spoke of Writers Week of yester years when he had visited in the past, John B Keane was due to launch his book, but took ill, however, he had a replacement in no time none other done the Master Brian McMahon. There is no doubt the President is very passionate about the Arts and this came across vivedly in his opening address, for which he received a standing round of applause from the large audience in the main ballroom of the hotel.
The President of Writers Week, Mr. Colm Tobin then addressed the audience.
Several Awards were presented to many up and coming writers but the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2012 went to Christine Dwyer Hickey for her Novel “The Cold Eye of Heaven”.
Prior to the opening ceremony, President Higgins and Mrs. Higgins had a warm short greeting with Jimmy Deenihan, TD Minister for Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs, Mary Keane and the family, Writers Week Commitee members, Kerry Group’s Frank Hayes, and the novelists shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel Award 2012