Kim Phuc Phan Thi and Fergal Keane announced as Keynote speakers for Lismore Immrama Festival of Travel Writing 2016
Vietnamese-Canadian best known as the nine-year-old child depicted in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken during the Vietnam War on June 8, 1972 Kim Phuc Phan Thi along with one of the BBC's most distinguished correspondents and award-winning broadcaster and author Fergal Keane have been announced as the keynote speakers for the 14th annual Immrama Festival of Travel Writing in Lismore, County Waterford this June 16th to 19th.
Kim tells a story like no other. She is an icon of the cry for peace, the unforgettable girl behind the photo running naked from the planes bombing a temple where she and her family had taken refuge during the Vietnam War. Luckily, she escaped her death from napalm to tell her story. Kim will travel to Ireland for the first time to take to the stage at the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing on Saturday, June 18th at 3pm.
Kim will be joined by one of the BBC's most distinguished correspondents and an award-winning broadcaster and author Fergal Keane. Fergal has reported on the major conflicts and also forgotten wars of the modern age. He has been awarded numerous awards and honours including, a BAFTA, the George Orwell prize for literature, the James Cameron Prize and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the US Overseas Press Association, an OBE for his services to journalism. He is also the author of a number of bestselling books. Fergal will take to the podium at Immrama on Saturday June 18th at 8pm.
Launching the 2016 programme was the Mayor of Waterford Councillor John Cummins said, “I am honoured to launch the programme for the fourteeth annual Immrama Festival of Travel Writing. This festival has from its very inception brought some of the biggest names in travel writing and broadcasting to Ireland and with those names it has also brought international audiences and has shone an international spotlight on this beautiful Heritage Town. This is a festival which I believe is like no other in the country, it is forward thinking and global reaching and the 2016 programme is the epitome of this ethos; June 16th to June 19th are going to be a particularly inspiring number of days in Lismore this year.”
On Sunday morning at 8.30am Turtle Bunbury will host the ‘Literary Breakfast’ at Lismore House Hotel. Turtle is a best selling author and award winning historical consultant. He is a co-presenter of the GenealogyRoadshow on RTE and a frequent contributor to radio, print & online media, including National Geographic Traveler, Vogue Living, The World of Interiors, Playboy, The Australian, The Irish Times and The Irish Daily Mail. Turtle’s next book, Around the World in 1847, will be published in September 2016.
The festival will open with a film screening with a racing theme on the evening of Thursday, June 16th when Italian film ‘Palio’ will be screened at Lismore Heritage Centre.
On Friday evening at 8pm author and journalist Peter Murtagh will take to the stage at the Courthouse Theatre. Peter Murtagh is a reporter with The Irish Times. He has held a number of senior positions in the paper over many years, as well as in The Guardian newspaper in London. He is well travelled and has written from many places in Europe as well as Asia, South and Central America and South Africa, occasionally observing places from the vantage point of his motorbike. In 2011 he wrote, with his daughter Natasha, a book about their journey together on Camino de Santiago. He has since walked the Portuguese Camino and the Camino Primitivo.
On the morning of Saturday, June 18 historian Donald Brady will host a free talk on an intriguing piece of local history and author Paul Clements will host a free presentation at the Red Hall.
Family Fun Sunday will take place at the Millennium Park where music and entertainment will be on offer with the Lismore Farmers Market on the castle avenue. Taking the festival to a close on Sunday evening author Jim O’Malley, an environmentalist and long-distance walker will discuss his book – ‘Walking the Munster Blackwater’. While emphasising the historic events that occurred along the course of the river, O’Malley presents the reader with a varied snapshot of the Irish countryside. Encounters with farmers, B&B personnel, publicans, anglers and others are blended with his love of nature and a deeply felt concern for the future of the Blackwater.
The festival has also announced a brand new young travel writer’s competition; this is open to secondary school students all across Ireland. Entrants are asked to submit an 800-word story about their travel experiences.
Full details of the festival schedule for tickets and details on the new travel writing competition at the Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writing 2016 see www.lismoreimmrama.com or call (058) 53803.