News and Views

Early Start Students Meet Acclaimed Writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa

23 Sep 2022
Doireann Ní Ghríofa reads to a group of visiting students from the School of English’s new Early Start in Irish Literature and Creative Writing course in Kilcrea Abbey. (Photo: Darragh McSweeney)

Kilcrea Abbey provided the stunning backdrop for budding writers to take in a unique reading of an award-winning book from a University College Cork alumna.

Visiting students on the School of English’s new Early Start in Irish Literature and Creative Writing course recently had the chance to meet acclaimed writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa, who read from her celebrated creative memoir ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ at the a historic ruins of Kilcrea Abbey which features in her book.

 Ní Ghríofa, who was recently recognised at the 2022 UCC Alumni Awards won the An Post Irish Book of the Year Award in 2020 and the James Tait Black Prize for ‘A Ghost in the Throat’, which has been acclaimed as  “powerful”, “captivatingly original”, and a “masterpiece” by the New York Times, The Guardian, and the Sunday Business Post respectively.

The experience of meeting the lauded writer was one that left a lasting impression on the visiting students.

“Seeing Kilcrea Abbey and meeting Doireann Ní Ghríofa helped me ground the book to the Ireland I was discovering, instead of it existing only in the abstract for me,” said Shoshana Groom .

“It was an honour to meet Doireann Ni Ghriofa, and being able to hear her read "A Ghost in the Throat" aloud to us at Kilcrea Abbey enhanced my understanding of the novel's setting and gave me a greater appreciation for why Ni Ghriofa was inspired to write a novel of such personal introspection and emotional depth,” Cavin Alderfer said.

This event is one of a series that have been organised for students on the Early Start in Irish Literature and Creative Writing course, a new annual summer course for international students offered by the UCC School of English. Other events for students include a workshop by novelists Eimear Ryan and Danielle McLaughlin.

For more information on this course, please contact Dr Adam Hanna, Lecturer in Irish Literature at or see more HERE.

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