This year will see a new Hay Festival opening in the town of Kells in County Meath. It will take place over three days from 28th–30th June. Kells is the original home of The Book of Kells a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world and now housed at Trinity College Dublin. Kells is a town with a population of 5,000 located 40 miles North West of Dublin.
The first names confirmed for the Kells Hay Festival are Booker prize winners John Banville and DBC Pierre. The 25 year old Hay Festival has now spawned 15 literary festivals around the globe.
Kells Chamber of Commerce President Ger Gaughran said: “Kells Heritage Festival is a similar event and could draw on the wealth of speakers that hit Hay each year”. She added “we sent over a submission asking organisers to consider Kells as a location for a festival”. Members of the chamber visited Hay last year. “During our visit we met with founders and directors of the festival and found that they had great interest and knowledge of Kells and were very positive towards our idea. Aside from the festival, we think Kells would be the perfect location to develop an Irish ‘town of books,’ as a national centre for all genres of literature, old and new.”