Thursday 7th October



Vincent Woods introduces this year's festival.

John McGahern with dog.jpg

John McGahern Award

Announcement of the winner of this year’s John McGahern Award for Literature, with a reading by the winning author and the presentation of this year’s award by Cllr. Paddy O'Rourke, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council.


Reading McGahern

Actor Stephen Rea reads from the work of John McGahern and discusses his memories of the Leitrim writer - in conversation with Vincent Woods.

Friday 8th October


Falling through the Cracks

Poet Rita Ann Higgins reads from her latest collection ‘Pathogens Love a Patsy: Pandemic and Other Poems’ and discusses the background to and inspiration for work including ‘Poems of Isolation’ on the life of the writer Hanna Greally.


Thin Places and Buried Secrets

A striking new voice in Irish writing Kerri Ní Dochartaigh discusses her memoir ‘Thin Places’ and its inspirations, and her experience of growing up in Northern Ireland before eventually making a home south of the border in the Republic.


Interrogating the Border Line

Novelist Eoin McNamee, author of  a series of remarkable works set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland‘, including Resurrection Man’ and ‘Blue is the Night’, reads from a work-in-progress and previews the themes for The John McGahern Memorial Lecture which he will deliver to a public audience in Carrick-on-Shannon later this year.

Saturday 9th October


Crossing Borders: Jeanine Cummins

Jeanine Cummins reads from her best-selling novel ‘American Dirt’ and discusses her observation of the migrant crisis at the US-Mexican border and the tensions in post-Trump, culture-warring America.


Crossing Borders: Nelofer Pazira

Nelofer Pazira pays tribute to her late husband, the journalist and writer Robert Fisk, discusses her own work as a film-maker and writer and considers the situation in her home country of Afghanistan now that the US has withdrawn and the Taliban are back in power.

Sunday 10th October


The Iron Mountain Commissions

As part of the Leitrim Live Performance Programme funded by by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, The Iron Mountain Festival and Leitrim County Council commissioned Alice Lyons, Michael Harding, Seamus O'Rourke Ailie Blunnie, Pat McCabe, Roisin Kelly and Stephen Murphy to write a new work that reflected on their environment, particularly as they have experienced it over these past 18 months. Each of the commissioned pieces was filmed by Edwina Guckian at sites chosen by the artist.