Red Line Book Festival

2023 Festival Welcome

Cllr. Emma Murphy
The Mayor of South Dublin,
Cllr. Alan Edge

MAYOR’S WELCOME - Cllr. Alan Edge

I am delighted to welcome you to the Red Line Book Festival brought to you by South Dublin Libraries and Arts. Now in its 12th year the festival is a celebration of all things literary.

The Red Line Book Festival programme is once again packed with wonderful authors such as John Banville, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, C Pam Zhang and Andrea Mara to name but a few. We look forward to meeting crime journalist and podcaster Nicola Tallant and authors Nick Foster, Sharon Lawless and Maresa Fagan in what is sure to be an intriguing insight into unsolved murders in Ireland.

Other highlights include Francis Brennan, who will be talking about growing old gracefully and local Tallaght author Jennifer Carroll who will be talking to about her new book Jen’s Journey. We are excited to introduce our Writer in Residence programme: The Queenship Cypher. As well as songwriting workshops exploring the art of lyrical storytelling, the programme aims to attract aspiring female MCs, producers, dancers, and visual artists with the aim of fostering career expansion and artistic development.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners and venues for their commitment to the festival in particular the Local Enterprise Office South Dublin, Office of Public Works, and The Civic. I would also like to acknowledge the incredible work that goes into producing the festival and in particular the work of the team in South Dublin Libraries and Arts.

The Red Line Book Festival truly has something for everyone, so be sure to join us. I’ll see you there!

Colm Ward
Chief Executive,
South Dublin County Council,
Colm Ward


The 2023 Red Line Book Festival, which runs from 16th to 22nd October, again sees our Libraries and Arts teams showcasing the best of South Dublin County. With over 35 events, featuring many special guests, in fantastic venues including The Civic, Tallaght Stadium, Rathfarnham Castle, Pearse Museum, and Brú Chrónáin Round Tower Visitor Centre Clondalkin, Red Line promotes a variety of local cultural and historical offerings.

This year’s festival programme includes a special conference on the Decade of Centenaries, hosted by historian, author and presenter Turtle Bunbury. This will include a talk from David McCullagh on Éamon de Valera’s 1923 while historian Liz Gillis will share “The Story of Noel Lemass: His Life and Death” and she’ll also be in conversation with Niall Quinn about the story of footballer, rebel and politician, Oscar Traynor. Flor McCarthy will tell the deeply personal story of her family's links on both sides of the War of Independence and Caitriona Crowe will round off the conference with “The Decade of Centenaries: a retrospect”. 

Literary and theatrical events feature heavily throughout the festival with selected highlights including John Banville discussing his life and work with author Dermot Bolger, Aisling Ever After authors Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen chatting with Muireann O’Connell about their best-selling series, true crime podcaster and journalist Nicola Tallant exploring some of Ireland’s unsolved murders with authors Nick Foster, Sharon Lawless and Maresa Fagan. 

Also included are a range of events and shows such as “Roald Dahl and the Imagination Seekers”, a family fun day at the Cultural Quarter in Tallaght, writing workshops, and “The Art of Collaboration”, which will close this year’s festival. 

There really is something for everyone in the diverse programme of events and we invite from residents from South Dublin and beyond to join us and enjoy this year’s Red Line Book Festival.