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2021 One Dublin One Book Programme Launched

Dublin City Council invites people all over the city to take part in the annual One Dublin One Book campaign by reading the same book during the month of April. This year’s chosen title for One Dublin One Book, is Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession (Bluemoose Books). 

Read first chapter here 

Dublin UNESCO City of Literature have put together a range of free online public events throughout the month of April which will see author Rónán Hession take part in public discussions, interviews and live webinars. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic these events will take place online. Writers Donal Ryan and Alex Barclay, actor Emmet Kirwan and musician Brigid Mae Power all feature in the programme. Rónán Hession will also perform music from his three albums released under the name Mumblin’ Deaf Ro and discuss his move from music to writing. RTÉ Radio 1’s Book on One is delighted to be opening its forthcoming new season of books read on radio with Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession produced by Clíodhna Ní Anluain.

Further details on these events are below and at this link

As part of One Dublin One Book, complimentary copies of the book will be distributed to health care workers via libraries in hospitals across Dublin, in a special initiative this year. 

Hundreds of copies of Leonard and Hungry Paul have been purchased by Dublin City Libraries and will be available to borrow from all public libraries nationwide, through the free BorrowBox library app, and in hardcopy when libraries re-open to the public. The book is also available to listen to in audio format through BorrowBox. The new One Dublin One Book edition of Leonard and Hungry Paul is available to buy from all good book shops. 

Videos of actor Johnny Ward reading extracts from the book will be released over the coming weeks. Watch the first one HERE

This programme was made possible thanks to funding from Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Speaking about the One Dublin One Book initiative, author Rónán Hession said:  “I am sincerely grateful and proud that Leonard and Hungry Paul has been chosen as this year’s One Dublin One Book. I would like to thank Dublin City Council for this great honour. I was born in Dublin and have lived and worked here all my life, so this means a lot to me. And of course, I have spent countless happy hours firing my imagination with the books I have borrowed from the wonderful libraries we have throughout Dublin. Leonard and Hungry Paul is a gentle book about two friends learning to engage with the world without becoming overwhelmed by it. I hope my fellow Dubliners find it a source of peace and enjoyment in the year ahead.”

Dublin City Librarian, Mairead Owens, added:On behalf of Dublin City Libraries, I am delighted to have the opportunity of promoting this wonderful book by Rónán Hession.  It reminds us all that life is precious and that there are many challenges facing us as we negotiate daily life.  The book is uplifting and positive and gives comfort at this time.  The book is a treasure and will hopefully encourage many more readers to seek refuge and sustenance from reading.”


Online events during April include:

Tuesday 20th April 7.30pm

Celebrating Leonard and Hungry Paul

One Dublin One Book flagship event to celebrate Leonard and Hungry Paul. Author Rónán Hession will be in conversation with arts journalist Nadine O’Regan about writing his debut novel about two friends trying to find their place in the world. Excerpts from the book will be read by actor Emmet Kirwan. The event will also feature music performances by Irish folk singer Brigid Mae Power.

Friday 16th April 7.30pm

Music, Writing and Creativity

Rónán Hesssion, aka Mumblin’ Deaf Ro, in conversation with Leagues O’Toole about his music, writing and creativity. Together they will explore Rónán’s transition from song writing, to novel writing and the power of music as a source of inspiration. With performances by Rónán of songs from his three albums: Senor, My Friend; The Herring and the Brine; and the Choice Music Prize-nominated Dictionary Crimes.

Thursday 1st April 6pm in association with The Little Museum of Dublin

Rónán Hession and Fíona Scarlett in conversation with Sarah Costigan of the Little Museum. As part of the museum’s 120 Dublin Stories series, this conversation will reflect on the idea of Dublin as a character and speak about themes such as friendship & outsiders as depicted in Leonard & Hungry Paul by One City One Book author Rónán Hession, and in Fíona Scarlett’s debut novel Boys Don’t Cry. 

To book a place email

Wednesday 7th April 8pm in association with The Rick O’Shea Book Club: Nice and Nasty

Rick O’Shea hosts a discussion between writers Alex Barclay and Rónán Hession about characters and characterisation. What makes a memorable character? Where do characters come from?  How to write light and dark characters? Who are their favourite characters in literature

Thursday 8th April 1pm in association with Irish Hospice Foundation

Art and Compassion

Discussion on the role of art in nurturing compassion and enabling difficult conversations. With readings and reflections by Rónán Hession and other guests tbc.

Thursday 8th April 7.30pm in association with Contemporary Music Centre Musical Tales

Contemporary Music Centre presents Musical Tales online event with performances of works by composers Linda Buckley, Greg Caffrey, Ben Dwyer, David Fennessy, Deirdre McKay and Jonathan Nangle that were selected by curator Jane O’Leary from CMC’s collection based on connections in some way with Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession.This will be followed by a live Panel Discussion led by CMC’s Linda O’Shea Farren, in which Rónán Hession, Jane O’Leary and some of the featured composers and performers will participate.

Thursday 15th April 7.30pm in association with Fingal Libraries

Fingal Libraries host Live Webinar with Rónán Hession with Q&A chaired by Edel Coffey

Monday 19th April 7pm in association with DLR Libraries Poetry at the LexIcon: The Joy of Connection 

Readings and discussion with poets Bebe Ashley, Seán Hewitt and Richard Scott chaired by Rosamund Taylor. We are all interconnected through shared experiences, languages, and vulnerabilities. With poetry that is always in conversation with other poets and artists, Bebe Ashley, Seán Hewitt and Richard Scott capture our capacity for despair and our need for kindness. Their vivid and unique work explores how to make space, in a fraught and difficult world, for love, freedom and joy.

Friday 23rd April 1pm Seattle and Dublin, both UNESCO Cities of Literature, jointly host a discussion with Nancy Pearl and Rónán Hession.

Tuesday 27th April at 7pm in association with RDS Library. Eight Days a Week – Developing as a Writer in the Real World. Donal Ryan and Rónán Hession in Conversation

Award-winning writer Donal Ryan in conversation with Rónán Hession, author of this year’s One Dublin One Book choice Leonard and Hungry Paul, about becoming a writer, allowing time for creativity in a busy life and what they have learned along the way on their journey to publication. This event is part of the RDS Library Speakers Series in association with One Dublin One Book.

Thursday 29th April at 7.30pm DCU Book Club Event

Leonard and Hungry Paul will feature as part of Our DCU Book Club in April. Our DCU Book Club is a virtual monthly book club for DCU staff with over 165 members.  A Live event with writer Rónán Hession takes place online on Thursday, April 29th at 7.30pm. It will be moderated by John McDonough, University Librarian. 
DCU Staff can register here:

Book On One

RTÉ Radio 1’s Book on One is delighted to be opening its forthcoming new season of books read on radio with Leonard and Hungary Paul by Rónán Hession read by actor Emmet Kirwan and produced by Clíodhna Ní Anluain. Excerpts will be broadcast weekday nights at 11.20am from Monday 19 – Friday 30 April 2021 and available to be also enjoyed on the RTÉ Book on one website for one month following the first broadcast of each episode.