2019 speaker Professor Brendan Simms in Irish Times this week

One of our 2019 speakers, Professor Brendan Simms from the University of Cambridge, has given an interview to the Irish Times this week, which you can read here. Simms’ talk at the Festival is entitled ‘From Back door to Back Stop. Britain, Ireland and Europe in historical perspective’ and forms one of a series of talks at this year’s Festival which examine the triangular relationship between Ireland, Britain and continental Europe through different historical lenses. You can buy tickets for Professor Simms’ talk, and all the others, via this website.

Closing speaker announced for 2019 Festival !

We are very pleased to announce that our closing speaker this year will be screenwriter and novelist Daisy Goodwin, who wrote the hugely popular TV series ‘Victoria’. Daisy will speak about Victoria and her own West Cork connections. Her great-great-great grandfather Robert Traill was Rector of Schull during the Famine and worked hard to help its victims, eventually dying of ‘famine fever’ (typhus) in 1847.

Goodwin wrote Traill into the TV series, saying “I thought his story would be a good way to illustrate the terrible way in which the Irish were treated by the British government.”

Find out more about Daisy here

12th July

For the day that’s in it, we’re looking forward to Ruth Dudley Edwards speaking at our 2019 Festival on attitudes to Northern Ireland in the Republic of Ireland. Ruth is a journalist, historian and writer – find out more about her via her website and see some of her recent articles there too, including for the Belfast Telegraph.

Dan Mulhall returns to WCHF

We are delighted that Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador to the USA, will return to speak at this year’s Festival, having spoken at our first Festival in 2017. His subject this year will be ‘Declaring Independence: America 1776, Ireland 1919?’ To listen back to his fantastic 2017 talk ‘War & Peace: two Irish writers in 1917, Francis Ledwidge and AE’, click here.

The photo below shows Dan Mulhall at WCHF 2017, along with Micheál Martin.