Posted: July 4, 2013 in Uncategorized



Enda Walsh is one of Ireland’s most celebrated playwrights. Recent work includes the book for the Broadway and West End musical Once, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical in 2012, and the award winning play Misterman which toured to New York and following its Galway performances at GAF 2011. Other recent plays include Penelope, The New Electric Ballroom and The Walworth Farce, have toured all over the world.

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Colum McCann is the author of six novels and two collections of stories. He has won numerous international literary awards including the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award and the National Book Award in the USA for his last novel Let The Great World Spin.

In his new novel TransAtlantic, from which he reads, McCann weaves together personal stories to explore the fine line between what is real and what is imagined, and the tangled skein of connections that make up our lives.

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Listen from the Archive: First Thought 2012: Caroline Casey on disability and creativity.


“Labels are for jam-jars, not for people”.  Entrepreneur & Disability Campaigner, Caroline Casey speaking about disability and the importance of creativity as part of First Thought Talks at last year’s Festival.

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Listen from the Archive: First Thought 2012: Chic’s Nile Rodgers In Conversation.


Chic’s Nile Rodgers talks partying, drugs & Madonna. Recorded after Chic’s Big Top performance as part of last year’s series of First Thought Backstage Talks at the Festival.

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The discussion will profile four young Irish creatives. Galvea Kelly, James Whelton, Jonathan Cloonan & Jason Sullivan have embraced the digital world and have mapped out their own careers. In their twenties and internationally acclaimed, these sparkling creatives will speak about their work, their ideas and inspirations. How do they do it? And, is digi entrepreneurship the way forward?

Show Sponsors


Galvea Kelly

Global Director of Digital and Social Media for Revlon & recently awarded Top 40 under 40 Brand Innovators in the US.
Aged 28, Galvea spearheads Global Social Media and Digital for Revlon Products. From Galway Galvea made the move to New York last year and is responsible for leading and executing US social media strategies and developing global social media measurement and standards for the brand. Prior to working in Revlon, Galvea setup her own social media consulting business – Brand Nua – and has worked throughout Europe, Middle East and the US. Her clients included Unilever, BMW, Nescafe and Saatchi and Saatchi. A frequent speaker at digital conferences, her work has been published globally and she has won 9 Digital awards in the US in the past 12 months. She has most recently been awarded Top 40 under 40 Brand Innovators in the US. 

James Whelton

Co-founder of  Coderdojo computer coding clubs and named by Forbes magazine in their 30 under 30 list.
A self-confessed “horrible academic”, James Whelton is one of Forbes’ ‘30 under 30: Social Entrepreneurs’. In 2011, the 20 year old from Cork co-founded CoderDojo, free clubs where children learn computer coding skills. Now there are 130 dojos across 22 countries, with 10,000 children learning to code for free each week. Whelton’s ideal is to take young hackers out of their parents’ basements and provide them with a social environment in which to explore and hone their skills.

Jason Sullivan

Creator of the Sminky Shorts animation series.
A relatively newcomer to the animation scene, Jason began working under the pseudonym, Andrew James last year and released his first animated short “Sminky Shorts: Awful Sad” in May 2012. In a short space of time, his animations clocked up over 18 million views on YouTube and he was signed to United Agents, the London-based office that represents Rickey Gervais and Richard Attenborough. Jason is currently concentrating on a new series for television while also studying for a BA degree in Multimedia at Cork Institute of Technology.

Jonathan Cloonan (Chair)

Global WPP Fellow, Digital Strategist Ogilvy & Mather WW and named by Forbes magazine in their 30 under 30 list.
Jonathan Cloonan is a 27-year old Irish advertising executive currently working in Ogilvy & Mather, NYC. He was recently named in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 list. He is a GlobGlobal WPP Fellow and prior to his move to New York, he was working in London and Singapore scouting out TV formats , such as Masterchef, The Voice and Next Top Model, for major brands and then working on exporting them in China, India and Vietnam. Cloonan is from Dublin; he was educated at Belvedere College, Trinity College and has completed a work-based Masters Degree in Smurfit Graduate Business School. – See more at:

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