Born in 1950 in Sligo, Ireland, Neil Jordan began his career as a writer. His first book of stories, Night In Tunisia (1976) won the Guardian Fiction prize. Since then he has published five novels, The Past (1979), The Dream Of A Beast (1983), Sunrise With Seamonster (1994), Shade (2005). His most recent novel, Mistaken was published in early 2011.
Neil Jordan's film career began with the role of creative consultant on John Boorman's Excalibur in 1981. In 1982 Jordan wrote and directed his first feature film Angel. Since then he has written, directed and produced more than fifteen films, including Company of Wolves (1984), Mona Lisa (1986), The Crying Game (1992), Interview With The Vampire (1994), Michael Collins (1995), The Butcher Boy (1996), The End Of The Affair (1999), The Good Thief (2002), Breakfast On Pluto (2005) and Ondine (2009). His films have been honoured with numerous awards worldwide, including an Oscar, BAFTAs, Golden Globes, A Golden Lion from The Venice Film Festival and a Silver Bear from Berlin. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates and in 1996 he was appointed Officer of the French Ordres des Artes et des Lettres. Neil Jordan has more recently written, directed and produced the television series "The Borgias", with Octagon Films, and Showtime. His latest film Byzantium premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2012.
This speaker is sponsored by the NUI Galway Millennium Fund
Patrick Mc Cabe
Playwright and novelist Patrick McCabe was born in 1955 in Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland. He was educated at St Patrick's Training College in Dublin and began teaching at Kingsbury Day Special School in London in 1980. His short story 'The Call' won the Irish Press Hennessy Award.
He is the author of several novels, including The Butcher Boy (1992), a black comedy narrated by a disturbed young slaughterhouse worker, which won the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction; The Dead School (1995), an account of the misfortunes that befall two Dublin teachers; and Breakfast on Pluto (1998), the disturbing tale of a transvestite prostitute who becomes involved with Republican terrorists. The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.
He is also the author of a children's book, The Adventures of Shay Mouse (1985), and a collection of linked short stories, Mondo Desperado, published in 1999. His play Frank Pig Says Hello, which he adapted from The Butcher Boy, was first performed at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1992. The play is published in Far from the Land: Contemporary Irish Plays (1998), edited by John Fairleigh. A film adaptation of The Butcher Boy directed by Neil Jordan was first screened in 1996. His short stories have been published in the Irish Times and the Cork Examiner and his work has been broadcast by RTÉ in Ireland and the BBC.
His novel, Emerald Germs of Ireland (2001), is a black comedy featuring matricide Pat McNab and his attempts to fend off nosy neighbours. His novel, Winterwood, was published in 2006, and was named the 2007 Hughes & Hughes/Irish Independent Irish Novel of the Year. His latest novels are The Holy City (2008) and The Stray Sod Country (2010).
This speaker is sponsored by the NUI Galway Millennium Fund
“The pre-eminent director of Irish drama, Garry Hynes”
The New York Times
Born in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon in 1953, Garry Hynes moved to Galway with her family in 1965. In 1971 she started an Arts Degree (History & English) in University College Galway (now NUIG) and joined the college drama society. Fresh out of college in 1975, Druid was founded by Garry, Marie Mullen and Mick Lally who came together to present a summer season of theatre. The creativity and determination demonstrated by Garry and her colleagues in those formative years led to a series of major arts projects which breathed fresh life into Galway city. In 1979 it was Druid’s move into the Quay Street area of Galway that started the development of the left bank area of what is now the most visited part of the city.
Garry Hynes and Druid have been on a remarkable journey since the company was founded in 1975. Druid has toured the length and breadth of Ireland and has toured extensively overseas making it one of the premier theatre companies in the English-speaking world. Throughout her career, Garry has received numerous awards, notably when in 1998 she made history on Broadway by becoming the first woman to win a Best Director Tony Award (the theatre industry’s equivalent of the Oscars) for her direction of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane, and in 2005 when she was the recipient of the Freedom of Galway City, the highest honour a city can bestow upon one of its citizens.
Outside of her work with Druid, Garry has worked with The Abbey (including as Ar¬tistic Director from 1991-1994) and Gate Theatres (Ireland) and internationally with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Court in the UK, and with Second Stage, Signature Theater and Manhattan Theater Club in New York; and with The Kennedy Centre in Washington.
Druid: Productions include: DruidMurphy (Irish, UK & US tour); Big Maggie (Irish tour); The Silver Tassie (New York, Irish and UK tour); The Gigli Concert (Galway Arts Festival & Irish Tour); The Cripple of Inishmaan (US Tour, Irish Tour, UK Tour and Atlantic Theater, New York); Long Day’s Journey into Night (Galway and Dublin Theatre Festival); Leaves (Galway and Royal Court Theatre, London); Empress of India (Galway and Dublin Theatre Festival); The Year of the Hiker (Galway, Dublin and National Tour); DruidSynge (Galway Arts Festival, Dublin, Edinburgh International Festival and Inis Meáin 2005; Minneapolis and Lincoln Center Festival New York 2006); Sharon’s Grave, Sive, On Raftery’s Hill, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Leenane Trilogy (Royal Court co-productions); Lovers’ Meeting; Conversations on a Homecoming; Bailegangaire; The Shaughraun; The Wood of the Whispering.
Gate Theatre productions include: Afterplay, The Weir, Crestfall (Gate Theatre, Dublin);
Abbey Theatre productions include: King of the Castle, The Plough and the Stars, The Power of Darkness, Famine, A Whistle in the Dark, Portia Coughlan (The Abbey Theatre).
International Theatre Productions: Equivocation (Manhattan Theater Club, New York); Juno (Encores New York City Center); Translations (McCarter/Manhattan Theater Club, New York); Mr Peters’ Connections (Signature Theatre, New York); Crimes of the Heart (Second Stage, New York); 16 Wounded (Broadway); A Streetcar Named Desire (Kennedy Center, Washington).