Jeremy Irons, actor and West Cork resident, will be our closing act at the 2018 Festival. Irons, who has taken on diverse roles in film and theatre over a 40-year career, will read a selection of poems written in response to the Great War and the Irish Revolution and will offer a brief reflection on each of them.

This will make a fitting close to a Festival which will reflect upon these events in the centenary of the war’s ending and the establishment of the First Dáil. Irons himself takes a keen interest in the history of West Cork and lives in nearby Kilcoe Castle which he has restored. He has been a champion and inspiration for the arts in the area for many years.

Commenting on his involvement in the Festival, he said, “I am a West Cork man and an Englishman, the events of the Great War and revolutionary period in Ireland matter to me. We are shaped by them, but we continue to struggle to understand them. The words of these poets, Irish and English, their fascination, fury, sorrow, and their confusion, are important. Their witness gives us a way to comprehend something of those times and the people who lived through them.”

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