John McGahern and Seamus Heaney
John McGahern and Seamus Heaney

DCU School of English hosting John McGahern and Seamus Heaney Commemorative Evenings

Dublin City University’s School of English is hosting two commemorative evenings in April on DCU's St Patrick's campus for two of Ireland’s most acclaimed writers, John McGahern and Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney.

John McGahern - Thursday, 4 April

On Thursday 4 April, the School will celebrate the long association between one of Ireland’s greatest writers and the St Patrick’s campus in Drumcondra, where he was a student in the 1950s, the John McGahern Commemorative Evening will be a reflection on McGahern’s connection to place and his continuing presence in the world of Irish letters.

The evening will also be a celebration of contemporary writers connected with the School, reflecting on the centrality of place in their own work, and the ways in which they continue to map the Irish experience in the twenty-first century.

It will feature an introduction by Professor Derek Hand on the subject of ‘John McGahern and place – the Drumcondra Connection’ and will be followed by readings and conversation from:

  • Aingeala Flannery (DCU School of English Writer in residence, 2024)
  • Sophie White (DCU School of English Writer in residence, 2023)
  • Darran McCann (Novelist and DCU School of English)
  • Darren Murphy (Playwright and DCU School of English)
  • Juliana Adelman (Novelist and DCU School of History and Geography)

To round off the event, there will be an opportunity for a glass of wine and more conversation.

It will take place in the John McGahern Lecture Hall (D211) and runs from 6:30pm to 9pm.

Admission is free and you can reserve a ticket here.

McGahern, author of The Dark, Amongst Women and That They May Face the Rising Sun, was awarded an honorary doctorate by DCU in November 2003.

Seamus Heaney - Thursday, 11 April

The following week, on Thursday 11 April, special event will celebrate the life of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, in advance of what would have been his 85th birthday. It will also commemorate his links with DCU. Heaney received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2011 and The Seamus Heaney Theatre on the St Patrick's Campus, where the event will take place, was named in his honour.

It will begin at 6:30pm and run until 9pm.

A panel of literary and artistic guests will pay tribute to Heaney, with readings from his work and reflections on his influence. The panel will include

  • Barry Devlin (Musician)
  • Marina Carr (Playwright and DCU School of English)
  • Aingeala Flannery (Author and DCU Writer in Residence)
  • Mícheál McCann (Poet)
  • Pauric Travers (Historian and former President of St Patrick's College)

The winner of the DCU Student Poetry Competition will also be announced on the night. Dr Ellen Howley (School of English) will MC the event.

Admission is also free and you can reserve a ticket here.

An exhibition exploring Heaney's vast body of work and his long-standing connection with Drumcondra, curated by DCU Library, will be on display on the night. A wine reception will follow the readings, and music and all are welcome!

The event is supported by DCU Arts and CultureDCU Library and The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.