It was an event that started in the millennium year of 2000 and helped Dublin to become a UNESCO City of Literature
14 years on, the Franco-Irish Literary Festival has long since outgrown its original role and become a firm favourite in the cultural calendar of Dublin, Ireland and France.
The Festival is organised by the Alliance Française Dublin and the Cultural Service of the French
The Festival was born in 2000 out of a meeting between Michel Le Bris, founder of the well-known
French literary festival “Etonnants Voyageurs” which takes place every year at St Malo, and Marie-Christine Vandoorne, the director of the Alliance française in Dublin at the time. The aim of the project was simple but unique: to bring together French and Irish writers to facilitate mutual discovery and delight the public.
The first edition was a success, and this collaboration lasted for three years before the Cultural Service of the French Embassy offered its support and assistance. Since then, the Festival has been jointly organised by the Alliance and the Cultural Service, growing in size and significance each year.
The Festival’s goal is to deepen and enhance the long-standing friendships which exist between Ireland, France and other French-speaking countries of the world, according to the organisers. It aims to enrich our knowledge of our respective literatures and writers through various events organised around the main theme.
The Festival’s round-table discussions have in the past proved to be interesting and engaging events where, in an informal setting, writers from different cultures with different languages can exchange experiences and ideas. Public interviews of individual writers and cafés littéraires help people to become more familiar with the invited writers. There are also readings to complete the experience.
Contributing to the convivial atmosphere of the event and reflecting the new era which is heralded by this 15th edition, Dublin Castle (George’s Hall) was the venue for the Festival on Friday and Saturday. The grandiose setting of the Castle made for a superb atmosphere and the events were well-attended with a packed house for Nice and West Cork resident John Montague at 4pm on the Saturday evening.
The festival was rounded off in style with a Sunday brunch at the Alliance Française.