Journalist Justine to share insights at book festival


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Journalist Justine to share insights at book festival Journalist Justine to share insights at book festival

One of Ireland’s top journalists, Justine McCarthy, will take part in a symposium as part of the Ennis Book Club Festival on Sunday, March 3, alongside lecturer, commentator and housing expert, Dr Rory Hearne.

The topic, Breaking the cycle of poverty: A Crisis of Imagination, might seem like a depressing subject for the last morning of the three-day festival but it is a fact that discussions among book club members often wander to current affairs and everyday worries – and the Ennis festival has its origins in a local book club.

Justine McCarthy, currently a weekly columnist with The Irish Times, has had her eye on these matters since she left college 40 years ago to start her journalistic career at the Irish Independent.

In the four decades since, her work has been recognised, not just within the trade but by organisations working to make Ireland a better place and by readers.

A selection of Justine’s finest writings features in her latest book, An Eye on Ireland: New and Selected Journalism, which is a journey through social change in Ireland.

As it happens, Justine and I were not only in college together learning our journalistic skills but we shared a house in Kimmage. We were the ‘country girls’ on our two-year course in the Rathmines College of Commerce and our house soon became a hub for other students in our year. With only 20 altogether in our class and most of them still living at home with their families, our house was a popular place.

Our other housemates were Anne Flaherty, whose father Frank was a Claddagh man running a business in Ennis, Marese McDonagh from Sligo, and Mary Wilson from Tipperary.

All of us remain friends to this day and we attended Justine’s book launch in Dublin where one of her former editors, Vincent Browne, did the honours.

Justine is one of the sweetest, most compassionate people I have ever known, who wears her heart on her sleeve and writes her truth as she sees it. That integrity and her formidable intelligence have made her one of Ireland’s most sincere and insightful columnists.

The foreword to her new collection is written by fellow journalist and political columnist Miriam Lord and is followed by  candid introduction by Justine herself. In this new piece of writing, she describes her childhood in Bandon, West Cork, her time in college and her subsequent journeys to the four corners of Ireland covering the country’s biggest and darkest news stories.

Pictured: Justine McCarthy:  Her new book features a column she wrote for The Sunday Tribune about the trial of Galwayman Gerald Barry for the murder of Swiss student Manuela Riedo.  PHOTO: WILLIE DILLON.



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