I’m very proud of Kinsale's literary festival line-up

Maureen Tierney is a guesthouse owner and on the committee of Words by Water, Kinsale Literary Festival
I’m very proud of Kinsale's literary festival line-up
Maureen Tierney who is a committee member of Words by Water, Kinsale Literary Festival. Picture: John Allen

Tell us about yourself;

I was born in Margate in Kent in a bar next door to the guesthouse JMW Turner lived in! My mother was half Scottish and half English and my father was Irish.

My background is predominately musical. My father and both grandfathers were professional musicians and four of my aunts and uncles were music teachers.

I have always had a passion for the arts and have a degree in Art History.

I arrived in Kinsale in 1978 after give years working with British Telecom in London. I loved the culture in London but it was a lonely spot.

Since then I have been in the hospitality industry in Kinsale. I was very involved with the very first Kinsale Arts Week in 1988 which ran for three years. From 2004 until 2014 I was lucky enough to be on the board of the ambitious and prestigious Kinsale Arts Festival. I am now on the committee of Words By Water, Kinsale’s Literary Festival. This is our third year and I am very proud of this year’s programme.

The Festival takes place in Kinsale from tomorrow, Thursday, October to Sunday, October 6.

I am married to a local man, Finbarr Tierney, and have three children, Ruaidhri, Aine and Barry.

Where were you born?

Margate, Kent.

Where do you live?

Sandycove, Kinsale.

Earliest childhood memory?

Walking my gorgeous golden retriever King and going to musical shows where my father performed.

Person you most admire?

Nina Simone and Marcel Duchamp.

Person who most irritates you?

Anyone in a reality TV programme.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

Michael D Higgins. He would be so generous to the arts!

Where was your most memorable holiday?

1994 USA World Cup. I went with all the family and there is something truly magical about being an Irish soccer supporter abroad.

Favourite TV programme?

I dont have any.

Favourite radio show?

Sunday Miscellany, Drive Time and Book On One.

Your signature dish if cooking?

Beef Stroganoff.

Favourite restaurant?

Angela’s Seafood Restaurant in Margate.

Last book you read?

When All Is Said by Anne Griffin. A great read and a real page turner. We are delighted to have Anne coming to the Words by Water Festival in Kinsale where she will be in conversation with Sue Leonard on Saturday, October 5.

Best book you read?

There are too many to mention but two books that I will never forget are The End of an Affair, Graham Green and Emilie Pine’s Notes To Self .

Emilie Pine and writer and broadcaster Sinéad Gleeson will be in conversation with Ailbhe Smyth on Saturday October 5 in the Methodist Church in Kinsale as part of the Words by Water Festival.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

John Coltrane, Blue Train.

Favourite song?

I have hundreds.

One person you would like to see in concert?

Diana Krall and band, and Wynton Marsalis.

Do you have a pet?

Yes... two dogs (rescued), two cats and horses.

Morning person or night owl?

In between.

Spendthrift or saver?


Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

Kinsale is nearly perfect... better public transport would be good.

What makes you happy?


What else are you up to at the


Running my guesthouse Friar’s Lodge and committee duties for Words By Water Literary Festival, which will see over 30 well-known writers come to Kinsale including Emilie Pine, Donal Ryan (nominated twice for the Man Booker Prize), Sinead Gleeson, Rosita Boland, Steven James Smith (his poetry videos have over 2.5 million views), Kevin Doyle and Tony Ryan. There is a packed programme of readings, workshops, a sports writing extravaganza, panel discussions and children’s events.

See wordsbywater.ie

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