Organisers of the Delvin (Garradrimna) Book Fair successfully turned the local cattle mart in to a giant makeshift library and reading room on Sunday 2nd May 2010, as they welcomed thousands of visitors to one of the largest events ever seen in the county.
The event took over six months to organise with countless appeals for books of every genre to be donated to the cause. The appeals paid off with some 23,000 books going up for sale at between 50c and €1 each.
All day, a steady stream of visitors herded in to the sales room to browse the assembled collection, each leaving with armfuls of new purchases.
In addition to the book fair itself, locally produced organic food and wine was available for hungry visitors to sample, while children were entertained with special themed readings, competitions and face painting. Artist, Hazel Revington, hosted a mini arts exhibition featuring some of her own work as well as pieces by other local artists.
Throughout the day, special guests read passages from popular novels. Delvin natives, actress Mary McEvoy and Lyric FM’s Eamonn Lawlor, delivered particularly well received readings from Brinsley McNamara’s locally infamous novel “Valley Of The Squinting Windows”. This book received a very different reception when it was read by angry locals in 1918 only to be burnt in the centre of the village a little later that day.
The weather threatened to dampen proceedings but clouds and a few drops of rain gave way to a warm and sunny conclusion to Michael Murphy and Paul Carolan’s fund raising project carried out on behalf of the Delvin Sports & Leisure Centre.
Readings of Brinsley MacNamara’s “Valley Of The Squinting Windows” by Mary McEvoy and Eamonn Lawlor are now live on the Delvin Youtube Channel which can be viewed here. The book itself is published by Mercier Press.