Flann At The Festival

“Your talk,” I said, “is surely the handiwork of wisdom because not one word of it do I understand.”

— Flann O’Brien (The Third Policeman)

As wise literary folk, you must already know 2011 is the centenary of the birth of Flann O’Brien, Myles na gCopaleen, or perhaps Brian O’Nolan, scribhneoir and letter-wrangler extraordinaire. Fear not: The Dalkey Book Festival has heard your ardent pleas for a celebration of the great man and has replied, you will agree, with aplomb and if may we say so, gusto.

Read on, fellow Cruiskeen Lawn Enthusiast and thrill to the details of our Flann-tacular!

Tommy Tiernan

Friday 17th June, 14:30 (60 mins)

Heritage Centre – Castle St.


Where do you think Ireland’s best comedians get their inspiration? Which well do they dip into?  What literary giants influence them? Come and listen to Tommy Tiernan, talking about the comic genius of Flann O’Brien. We are delighted to have Tommy, a Convent Road resident, kicking off our homage to Flann O’Brien on the centenary of his birth.

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Decco’s Cave

Saturday 18th June, 12:00

Departing from the Tramyard- By Bicycle


Join Gary Jermyn on a cycle to Decco’s Cave, Whiterock Beach, Killiney, where as DeSelby he conjures up St. Augustin. A must for all Flann-istas!

 – No booking necessary, just turn up!

Slice of Flann: lunch with readings from Flann O’Brien

Saturday 18th June, 14:00

Ouzos – Castle St.


‘Know your Flann from your Cruiskeen Lawn’ actors will read humorous extracts from the work of Brian O’Nolan (aka Flann O’Brien and Myles na gCopaleen). Readings from The Cruiskeen Lawn (including The Brother), The Dalkey Archive and The Third Policeman will enlighten and entertain you over a light lunch in this award winning restaurant.

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The Saints Go Cycling In

Saturday 18th June, 16:15 – 17:30


Heritage Centre – Castle St.

Come and witness Hugh Leonard’s hilarious dramatization of The Dalkey Archive. A rehearsed reading of the play by the much-missed Dalkey writer, based on Flann O’Brien’s comic fantasy.

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Eamon Morrissey: Flann O’Brien’s Dalkey Archive Trail

Saturday 18th June, 18:00


Heritage Centre – Castle St.

Walk the Flann O’Brien Dalkey Archive Trail with “The Brother”, Eamon Morrissey. The walk will take approximately 90 minutes, including a pit stop. Although Eamon’s walkabout will not include diving into a cave at the Vico Swimming Club, it will include more familiar items, not forgetting “a pint of plain”.

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“Anybody who has the courage to raise his eyes and look sanely at the awful human condition … must realize finally that tiny periods of temporary release from intolerable suffering is the most that any individual has the right to expect.”

Flann O’Brien

Flann O’Brien – An Artist Destroyed

Saturday 18th June, 19:30


Heritage Centre – Castle St.

Not only was Dalkey the scene of Flann O’Brien’s last book, The Dalkey Archive, it was also the location of his only TV interview, recorded in the old Cliff Castle Hotel.  His interviewer on that fateful day in 1964 was the young, up and coming journalist, Tim Pat Coogan. Today you have a unique chance to join Tim Pat as he reminisces on the interview, reflecting on Flann and the great what-if that was Brian O’Nolan’s life and career.

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Barry Murphy and Kevin Gildea

Saturday 18th June , 22:00


The Vico at The Queens, Castle Street

The comic genius of Flann O’Brien is appreciated by two of Ireland’s best known comedians Barry Murphy and Kevin Gildea.

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The Science of Flann

Sunday 19th June, 13:00


Heritage Centre – Castle St.

Policemen who become more bicycle than man, where night is an accumulation of black sooty substances in the atmosphere, where travel is an illusion, all inhabit the comic world of Flann O’Brien, where a pint of plain is your only man.

This surreal world is prised open in a brilliant, groundbreaking show by DCU Chemistry Professor Dermot Diamond and actor Fergus Cronin.

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Is it Life? Declan Kiberd, Frank McNally & Colm O’Mongain on The Third Policeman and other stories

Sunday 19th June, 17:00

Heritage Centre – Castle St.


Colm O’Mongain talks to fellow Flannistas, Professor Declan Kiberd and Frank McNally of the Irishman’s Diary about the novels of Brian O’Nolan.

“Is it life?” he answered, “I would rather be without it,” he said, “for there is queer small utility in it. You cannot eat it or drink it or smoke it in your pipe, it does not keep the rain out and it is a poor armful in the dark if you strip it and take it to bed with you after a night of porter when you are shivering with the red passion. It is a great mistake and a thing better done without, like bed-jars and foreign bacon.”

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“When money’s tight and is hard to get

And your horse has also ran,

When all you have is a heap of debt


— Flann O’Brien

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