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Reading - A Right or A Privilege?



Reading - A Right or A Privilege?

Date :

Saturday, 26th October.


2:00pm  -  3:30pm


Garter Lane Theatre



Booking through:


OR   051 855038

Reading, writing, imagining and the access to information should be available to all, yet one in four people in Ireland experience literacy difficulties. Why is this? Our panel of experts will explore the idea of social inclusion through literature and how we bridge the gap between the world of literacy and the world of literature. 


Panel includes:

  • Richard Hayes (WIT)
  • Professor Sarah Moore Fitzgerald ( UL)
  • Steo Wall ( Singer Songwriter)
  • Professor Eoin Devereux (UL)
  • Jane Cantwell (Library Service)
  • Jackie Browne Adult Literacy Officer Waterford


Dr Richard Hayes

Dr Richard Hayes is a teacher and researcher at Waterford Institute of Technology with a specialism in literature. He has published many critical articles on Irish and American literature and has a particular expertise in American theatre and film. He is a board member for the Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre as well as a regular contributor to arts festivals across the South East.  He is currently Vice President for Strategy at Waterford Institute of Technology, having previously worked in a number of roles in the organization.


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Prof. Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Sarah is an award winning novelist and teacher. By day, she’s an academic based at the University of Limerick where she teaches on the MA in creative writing, runs service learning modules focused on creative writing in the community, and supervises research on creativity and fiction writing. She has been shortlisted for the CBI book of the year, the Waterstone’s prize and Scotland’s Red Book Award. Her fiction has been translated into sixteen languages, including Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Polish, Swedish and Norwegian, and also adapted for the stage (by Patch of Blue theatre company) in London and Edinburgh. Sarah has broadcast creative non-fiction on Sunday Miscellany, and has presented at many festivals and conferences throughout the world. She is one of the UL Creative writing Summer School facilitators and founder of UL’s creative writing winter school for mid-career writers.



Steo Wall

Growing up in Dublin gave Steo a grounding in rap, ‘Though I was more Toothpick then Tupac’ jokes Steo but it also saw him lose friends and family members to prison and drugs. Steo left Dublin for Co. Clare in 2012 and started working as a fish smoker in Lisdoonvarna. He immersed himself in the in the vibrant local music scene of North and West Clare which is where he met his partner and the mother of his two children, Fair City actor Jacinta Sheerin, a fellow Dubliner born and bred. Jacinta sings backing vocals on a number of tracks from the album. The pair also sing as a duo in the local pubs and and clubs where Jacinta always encouraged Steo to sing his own songs. It was these songs which caught the interest of Damien Dempsey and Luka Bloom. Luka agreed to teach Steo the art of recording in a studio and produced on ‘Where I’m From’; which was recorded by Martin O Malley in Malbay Studios in Miltown Malbay in West Clare.

"While Where I'm From is this Dublin-raised, Claire-based tunesmith's first album, you'd be forgiven for thinking he's five records deep into his campaign." Edwin McAfee, Hot press Magazine.


‘Where I’m From’ is a love letter to the people and places who raised him from a boy, into a man who wears his heart on his sleeve. With heartfelt lyrics, beautiful musicianship and melodies that you’ll find yourself singing for days ‘Where I’m From’ is like a splash of colour on a monochrome landscape.


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Jane Cantwell

Jane Cantwell is City & County Librarian and Head of Cultural Services with Waterford City & County Council.  As a member of the Libraries Development Committee in the Local Government Management Agency, she also promotes and supports public libraries in Ireland at national level and has worked on a number of Public Library national strategies including the most recent, Our Public Libraries 2022: Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities

As former President of the Library Association of Ireland, Jane has represented librarians and libraries at both national and international level.  In Waterford, she leads a team of 45 library staff and 5 Arts staff across 15 locations who engage in outreach, partnerships and collaborations across a wide range of activities.


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Professor Eoin Devereux

Eoin is a professor, a Sociologist and a Creative Writer based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He is widely regarded as expert in the fields of popular music and media analysis.  He has published extensively on the media and on popular music icons including David Bowie, Joy Division, Morrissey and The Smiths.  His long-form essay Waltzing Back: The Cranberries 1990-1993 was published as part of the 2018 Box Set Release of The Cranberries debut album ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?’  (Universal Music, London). He has also recently written sleevenotes for the 40thAnniversary Edition of The Radiator’s (1979) album ‘Ghostown.’ 

Eoin writes short fiction and poetry.  Shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards in 2018, Eoin’s creative writing has been published in The Irish TimesSouthwardsHCE ReviewThe Ogham StoneThe Galway ReviewThe BohemythBoyne BerriesNumber Eleven.  His flash fiction story ‘Mrs Flood’ came second in the RTE Bookshow 100 Words, 100 Books Competition and was subsequently published in a collection of the same title by the O’Brien Press. Eoin’s fiction and memoir work has been broadcast by  the Bookshow RTE Radio 1 and Sunday Miscellany RTE Radio 1.  He has lectured on the University of Limerick Frank McCourt Summer School in Creative Writing at NYU, New York since its inception in 2016.  Eoin’s short story concerning attitudes to fatness - ‘The Body Beautiful’ - was published in Silver Apples Magazine in May 2019.  


Eoin has previously been a guest speaker at Electric Picnic, the Dalkey Book Festival, the Institute for Contemporary Arts, London, the David Bowie Festival, Dublin and the Dun Laoighaire Vinyl Festival.