Date: Sat 30th Apr
Venue: Tullycross Church
Online Bookings are now closed. To buy tickets please go to the festival office in Thatched Cottage no.1 in Tullycross.
The Wilde Family Connections to Connemara – The Other Wilde Trial
Drawing on his novel, The Diary of Mary Travers, Eibhear Walshe presents the story of Mary Travers and the Wilde family. It is April 1895 and Oscar Wilde is on trial in London at the Old Bailey, following his libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, and faces ruin, public disgrace and imprisonment. In County Cork, a woman called Mary Travers is following the Wilde Trials in the newspapers, increasingly troubled by the growing public outcry. Mary Travers has her own secret, her hidden connection with Oscar Wilde and his parents, William and Jane, and dreads discovery and exposure.
Illaunroe in Connemara was the place Sir William Wilde retreated to when the Travers case brought all that adverse publicity down on his head. He would continue to be drawn back to the west of Ireland frequently. In the early 1850s he managed to fulfill an ambition when he acquired Illaunroe, a fishing lodge in a remote district of Connemara, near the Atlantic coast.
Illaunroe still stands today on a remote peninsula on Lough Fee near Little Killary, Connemara. It was Sir Wilde’s first hunting lodge in the west. This became the favourite holiday place for all the Wilde family for many years Oscar liked to call it ” the little purple island where we children learned to fish and hunt.
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Eibhear Walshe was born in Waterford, studied in Dublin, and now lives in Cork, where he lectures in the School of English at University College Cork. He has published in the area of memoir, literary criticism and biography, and his books include Kate O’Brien: A Writing Life, (2006), Oscar’s Shadow : Wilde and Ireland, (2012), and A Different Story: The Writings of Colm Tóibín (2013). His childhood memoir, Cissie’s Abattoir (2009) was broadcast on RTE’s Book on One. Called “Impressive and strangely affecting novel……remarkable” by The Irish Times, his novel, The Diary of Mary Travers published by Somerville Press was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Novel of the Year Award 2015 and longlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award.