On 11 November 2011, Michael D. Higgins was inaugurated as the ninth President of Ireland.
A passionate political voice, a poet and writer, academic and statesman, human rights advocate, promoter of inclusive citizenship and champion of creativity within Irish society, Michael D. Higgins has previously served at almost every level of public life in Ireland, including as Ireland’s first Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.
Michael D. Higgins was born on 18 April 1941 in Limerick city and was raised in County Clare. He was a factory worker and a clerk before becoming the first in his family to access higher education. He studied at the University College Galway, the University of Manchester, and the University of Indiana.
“I love reading because I love stories. Reading a book is like entering into a focused daydream, where anything can happen. And even though it’s a way of escaping the world, which is sometimes a miserable place, it’s also a way of understanding it and finding the good in it.”
Claire Hennessy is the author of nine novels for young adults, most recently Big Picture (Poolbeg, 2008) and Every Summer (Poolbeg, 2009). Her love of books led her to recently completing a MPhil in Popular Literature. She regularly teaches creative writing workshops in Dublin and for festivals throughout the country, and is currently working on her next book for young adults.
Favourite books: Matilda by Roald Dahl, Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton, The Babysitters Club by Ann M Martin, Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes, Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon, Hood by Emma Donoghue, A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy, Election by Tom Perrotta
“A library is to the mind what the Sam Maguire is to a GAA Fan – and it’s a lot easier to get to!”
To read a book is to become part of another person or another work. You can travel; have adventures; explode with laughter; cry for someone you’ve never heard of before – you can learn about everything from the life of the earthworm to that of the distant stars. All this and much, much more.
How could you not be as enthralled as I am with a library?
I like books because they open up the Universe to me
Deirdre Kelleghan lives in Ireland; she is an artist and amateur astronomer. She has a passion for experimentation in her approach to lunar, solar and deep sky sketching. Her work has been internationally acknowledged as unique.
This overwhelming passion also feeds into public expression as Deirdre is an avid informal educator. She relishes in developing drawing workshops and talks to share the wonders of the Universe with children and adults. Her workshop Deadly Moons is the recipient of the prestigious SPORE Award from the American Society for the Advancement of Science.
Deirdre is captivated by the explorations of interplanetary space probes. Currently she is working on a new and exciting phase of multi-media paintings, journeying through surfaces on other worlds, and bringing them to canvas.
Deirdre is a co author of a book on Moon Sketching
Sketching the Moon an Astronomical Artist Guide is to be
published by Springer later this year.
Vice Chair IFAS
National Coordinator for Astronomers Without Borders
National Rep The European Association for Astronomy Education
“Every door in the world leads towards a library. And every library allows us a myriad of stories. Libraries are the essence of democracy. Here, among stories, we find ourselves. I’ll never forget going to libraries when I was growing up in Dublin. The books opened me up, sent me away, and ultimately allowed me to stay at home. I’m forever indebted to those who allowed these shelves to become roads, and those roads that allowed me, once again, to walk amongst new shelves. A library book is a vote. A library is an extensive parliment of the human imagination.” Colum McCann
Colum McCann is the award-winning author of five novels and two collections of short stories. His most recent novel, “Let the Great World Spin,” won worldwide acclaim, including The 2009 National Book Award in the U.S, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, winner of the International Impac Award 2011, as well as a 2011 literary award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
“Let the Great World Spin” became a best-seller on four continents.
McCann’s fiction has been published in 30 languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Bomb and other places. He has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, the Irish Times, Die Zeit, La Republicca, Paris Match, the Guardian, the Times and the Independent.
McCann is considered, in every sense, an international artist. Born in Ireland, he has travelled extensively around the world. He and his wife Allison lived in Japan for two years. He currently lives in New York City, where he holds dual Irish and American citizenship. He is a member of the Irish Academy, Aosdana, and was awarded a Chevalier des arts et lettres by the French government in fall 2009 (making him one of an exclusive number of foreign artists recognised in France for their literary contributions: other recipients have included Paul Auster, Salman Rushdie and Julian Barnes). McCann was interviewed by RTE’s John Kelly here in Tallaght Library in April 2010. (Interview)
Thank you so much to Colum for becoming a South Dublin Library Champion
To see more information, visit Colum McCann’s webpage
“For me, a visit to the local library is like coming home. The smell and feel of books, with all the stories and happiness they offer- it’s an adventure and a reassurance. I know they’re always there, waiting for me!”- Liz Nolan
Liz Nolan hails fromDublin, and had her first taste of music at the age of 6, when she entered the local singing feis. It was scary at first! But Liz enjoyed it so much she went on to train in voice, oboe and piano at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Royal Irish Academy of Music. Lots of practice. But it paid off, because then…
… Liz became a lecturer at the DIT Conservatory of Music. She moved to Cork as Education & Outreach Officer at the Association of Irish Choirs, and just when things seemed nice and quiet…
… out of the blue, RTÉ lyric fm beckoned, and Liz began by deputising on shows and contributing feature programmes. She went on to present The Lyric Pitch, Daybreak and now Liz Nolan’s Lunchtime Classics (12-2pm, Monday- Friday, 96-99 RTÉ lyric fm).
For more on Liz and Lunchtime Classics, check out: http://www.rte.ie/lyricfm/lunch or get in touch on Twitter @lizlyricfm.
Favourite book: Beloved by Tony Morrison.
Favourite movie: Nikita (Jean Luc Besson)
Thank you so much to Liz for becoming a South Dublin Library Champion