Sinéad Gleeson & Cathy Sweeney

Time and date

Thursday 18 July 2024

8:30 pm

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2024 saw the publication of two highly anticipated debut novels by acclaimed Irish writers. Hagstone is the debut novel from award-winning essayist and editor of short story anthologies, Sinéad Gleeson, and Breakdown is written by short story writer Cathy Sweeney.

Admission: €20

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Hagstone is set on a wild and rugged island cut off and isolated to some, where artist Nell has made her home. It is the source of inspiration for her art, rooted in landscape, folklore and the feminine. The mysterious Inions, a commune of women who have travelled there from all over the world, consider it a place of refuge and safety, of solace in nature.


All the islanders live alongside the strange murmurings that seem to emanate from within the depths of the island, a sound that is almost supernatural – a Summoning as the Inions call it. One day, a letter arrives at Nell’s door from the reclusive Inions who invite Nell into the commune for a commission to produce a magnificent art piece to celebrate their long history. In its creation, Nell will discover things about the community and about herself that will challenge everything she thought she knew.


Beautifully written, prescient and eerily haunting, Sinéad Gleeson’s fiction debut takes in the darker side of human nature and the mysteries of faith and the natural world. A novel from one of our most beloved literary voices.


Breakdown opens one winter morning in contemporary Dublin, when a middle-class woman wakes up next to her husband in her suburban home, and without conscious purpose, walks out the front door to begin a journey that ultimately leads to profound transfiguration.


She travels first by car and then train to Rosslare, from where she takes a ferry to Fishguard in Wales. Along the way, she finds herself in service stations, shopping centres, train stations, ferry terminals; recalling her youth, earlier fantasies of suicide and reminiscing about those people who have come in and out of her life. Finally, 48 hours later, alone and isolated in a cottage in Wales, in a strange and eerie landscape, the woman reaches her nadir.



Sinéad Gleeson

Sinéad Gleeson’s essay collection Constellations: Reflections from Life was published by Picador in 2019 and won Non-Fiction Book of the Year at 2019 Irish Book Awards and the Dalkey Literary...

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Cathy Sweeney

Cathy Sweeney lives in Dublin. She studied at Trinity College and taught English at secondary level for many years before turning to writing. Her work has been published in various...

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