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Home > Your Council > Communications Office > Press Release from Jan 2021 > Frances Browne Literary Festival opens today

07/10/21 - Frances Browne Literary Festival opens today


The inaugural Frances Browne Literary Festival will officially open this evening at 8pm (Thursday 7 October) in the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey and will run until Saturday 9 October in Ballybofey, Stranorlar and Raphoe.  


The festival celebrates the life and literary legacy of Frances Browne, “the Blind Poetess of Ulster” who was born in Stranorlar in 1816 and who was, at one time, the best known writer of fairy tales in the British Isles and much of the world. 


This multilingual three-day festival will feature creative writing and poetry workshops on Friday in Irish, English and Ulster-Scots, for adults and for school goers, and a lively panel and audience discussion on the concept of Home, Language and Identity with writers Angeline King, Dubhán Ó Longáin and chaired by Mary Harte on Saturday.


Historians will enjoy ‘Life and After Life of a Donegal Saint’, a book launch and talk on St Eunan by Dr Brian Lacey in Raphoe, Co Donegal on Friday evening in St. Eunans Cathedral Raphoe and this will be followed by the Poetry Competition Awards in Kee’s Hotel, Stranorlar, where the audience can enjoy live music. 


Due to Covid 19 this year’s festival will be a blend of online and in-person events.


Speaking today Celine McGlynn Chairperson of the Frances Browne Literary Festival Committee said that “we are delighted with the programme of events that we have put together for the festival. Frances Browne has provided inspiration for all the activities from the creative writing workshops for those who write in English, Irish and Ulster Scots to our schools programme.  We hope that people in the Finn Valley and surrounding areas show their support for it this weekend”.


Donegal County Council is the main sponsor of this year’s event and Chair of the Stranorlar Municipal District Cllr. Gerry Crawford is delighted to be associated with the festival which he believes not only reignites the legacy of one of the region’s literary greats but also showcases the rich and unique cultural diversity of Stranorlar Municipal District.


“Donegal County Council is pleased to support the Frances Browne Literary Festival, which celebrates the literary legacy of Frances Browne while also encouraging and nurturing new talent. This festival will add a vibrancy to the area this weekend and I encourage people to safely attend and enjoy the festival events including the Art Exhibition by the Fiach Arts Circle or the Children's Activity Day of Fun and Magic”.


There will be events for all ages and all interests and for more information visit or follow on Facebook or Instagram.


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