03 Dec 2021

Rewarding Reads: Longford libraries are celebrating Irish authors

Longford County Library celebrates Irish writers and the rewarding experience that reading can bring

Longford Co Library

Longford Co Library

Every library in the country is taking part in a new national campaign to celebrate Irish writers while encouraging everyone to discover their own ‘Rewarding Reads’ during Covid-19.

It is also a good time to explore some of our great Irish writers past and present and to show our appreciation for the quality and diversity of their work.

Here in Longford, the campaign kicked off on Saturday last with a very interesting interview between well-known RTE news presenter Bryan Dobson and best selling Longford writer John Connell.

Bryan was launching John’s new offering, The Running Book, which is book number two in a trilogy that John is writing - all three of which are set in Longford. You can view this interview on Longford libraries Facebook and YouTube pages.

Libraries nationwide are joining with Creative Ireland to remind everyone that you are never alone when you have a good book and that your local library is a great place to discover for yourself the joys of reading for pleasure.

This might also be a good time to start writing your own story and the library may also be able to help you with this.

The ‘Rewarding Reads’ campaign is part of the Government’s ‘Keep Well’ programme, launched by Taoiseach Micheál Martin to ensure that we all take care of our individual wellbeing and resilience and help to take care of each other and our communities.

Recognising that we might all be looking for something to inspire us or to provide us with a little distraction over the coming winter months, anyone who enjoys reading will know the power of a good book to do just that.

Speaking to the Longford Leader, County Librarian Mary Carleton Reynolds said, “We want everyone to know that, despite the fact that our library doors are closed at present, a huge range of online services including ebooks and e-audio books, magazines, newspapers and a full programme of creative events are accessible through our website and our social media.

“All of these services are free and all you need to access them is your library membership card. If you wish to join the library for the first time you can join online at

“Library Staff are available to help and guide you by telephone 0433341124 or email”

For those of you who have always wanted to write your own story and would like to know how to get published, Longford Writer Dani Gill will be giving an online workshop on Saturday, November 14. To register, email

This month is also History month in Longford. There will be a series of online events to commemorate episodes in the War of Independence in Longford in November 1920.

Starting on Wednesday evening, November 4, at 7pm, Bernard Sexton, an expert on the North Longford Flying Column and grandson of Seán Sexton (one of its members), will give a talk on the Battle of Ballinalee.

On Thursday, November 5, at 7pm, Granard native Tom Pettit will read Canon James Butler’s lecture on the burning of Granard. Canon Butler, an eyewitness to the terrible events in the town, gave the lecture for the fiftieth anniversary in 1970.

The very talented Ballinalee Players have produced and performed a drama that was specially commissioned for the centenary programme.

Entitled ‘Ballinalee: Dawn of Victory’, it was recorded in Backstage Theatre and will be available on Friday, November 6, at 7pm.

All of these events can be viewed on the Youtube channel of Longford County Library, Heritage and Archives Services or on Decade of Centenaries Longford Facebook page.

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