Rosemary Mahoney

Rosemary Mahoney was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1961. She was educated at Harvard College and Johns Hopkins University and has been awarded numerous awards for her writing, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (US), a Whiting Writers Award, a nomination for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award (US), and Harvard’s Charles E. Horman Prize for writing. She is the author of five books of non-fiction: The Early Arrival of Dreams; A Year in China, a New York Times Notable Book, Whoredom in Kimmage; The World of Irish Women, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman, and he Singular Pilgrim; Travels on Sacred Ground. Her travelogue, Down the Nile; Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff, was among the National Book Critics’ Circle’s Best Books of 2007 and was selected by writer Jan Morris for Conde Nast Traveller’s list of the best travel books of all time. Her most recent book, For the Benefit of Those Who See; Dispatches from the World of the Blind, is based on her experiences teaching at the Braille Without Borders schools for the blind in both Lhasa, Tibet and Kerala, India.

Mahoney has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The London Observer, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Traveler, and The New York Times Magazine. She lives in Greece.


Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Isambard Wilkinson

Spellbound by his grandmother’s Anglo-Indian heritage and the exuberant annual visits of her friend the Begum, Isambard became enthralled by Pakistan as an intrepid teenager, eventually working there as a foreign correspondent during the war on terror. Seeking the land behind the headlines Bard sets out to discover the essence of a country convulsed by Islamist violence. What of the old, mystical Pakistan has survived and what has been destroyed? His is a funny hashish and whiskey scented travel book from the frontline, full of open hearted delight and a poignant lust for life.

Isambard Wilkinson was born in 1971. As a young boy in Ireland, he listened to family stories of adventurous botanists and artists, sailors and soldiers who traveled through China and Africa, India and Albania. It fired an urge to roam. Expelled from school at 15, after University he was refused entry into the Royal Marines and instead worked for Country Life magazine before leaving to travel throughout Pakistan, an ambition curtailed by kidney failure. After a stretch on dialysis and his first kidney transplant he became a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in Spain, and then in Pakistan, where he completed his travels the subject of this book. Following a second transplant he is based in Hong Kong where he works as a journalist.

Twitter: @IsambardW

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Michael Smith

Michael Smith, the best-selling author, talks about opening a new chapter in Irish history with his books on Tom Crean, Ernest Shackleton and other Irish explorers. He speaks about the highs and lows of uncovering the stories, challenging old myths, breaking new ground and the daunting task of conducting important historic research in a pub.

Worldwide sales of Michael Smith’s books have exceeded 250,000 and stimulated a surge of interest in Ireland’s previously overlooked role in the history of Polar exploration. An Unsung Hero, his biography of Tom Crean, now forms part of the curriculum in Irish schools and was recently translated into Chinese. Michael’s books have generated a range of spin-offs, including the erection of a statue to Crean, a successful one-man play, a new brand of lager and tourists from across the globe flocking to Crean’s pub in Kerry. Statues have also been erected in recent years to other Irish explorers, including Shackleton, Keohane and Forde, and the first museum in the world devoted to Shackleton has opened in Co Kildare.

Michael Smith is an authority on Polar exploration who has written nine books, appeared in TV and radio documentaries for RTE and the BBC. He has lectured at many literary festivals in Ireland, including Writers’ Week, Cúirt, West Cork Literary Festival, Mountains to Sea Festival Dublin, Eigse and the Ennis Book Festival. Michael has also spoken at many prestigious venues, including: National Library of Ireland, The National Museum of Ireland, National Maritime Museum, London, Princess Grace Memorial Library Monaco, Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace, Queen’s University Belfast, Royal Geographical Society, Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Scott Polar Research Institute Cambridge.

Michael’s books include An Unsung Hero – Tom CreanShackleton – By Endurance We Conquer, Great Endeavour – Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers and Captain Francis – Last Man Standing and for younger readers, Tom Crean – Iceman. Michael is a former award-winning journalist with The Guardian and The Observer.


Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Michael Whelan

Michael Whelan is a lifelong adventurer and mountaineer. He recently completed solo cycling trips in Pakistan, China, India and Nepal. In 2017 Michael was a contributing author to “The Wave” which was launched at the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin. His chapter “Borderline” is a snapshot of his journey by bicycle from Islamabad, (with armed escorts!), to the world’s highest border crossing on the Karakoram Highway and onto Shipton’s Lost Arch in Western China. Borderline will be the focus of his Immrama talk.

While not travelling, Michael lives in Dunmore East Co Waterford with his wife and daughter where he enjoys doing carpentry work.

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Jacki Hill-Murphy

Jacki Hill-Murphy MA, FRGS, is an explorer, writer and speaker who has travelled to some of the most inhospitable places on earth to re-create the journeys of daring women adventurers from the past. In tracking valiant women who left inhibition at home and journeyed into the unknown, Hill-Murphy pays tribute to their invincible spirits and achievements.

She has followed in the footsteps of Victorian explorers Isabella Bird who travelled by yak across the Digar-La in Ladakh, India; Mary Kingsley, who pioneered the route to the 13,255 summit of Mount Cameroon; and Kate Marsden who trudged from Moscow to Siberia in search of a cure for leprosy. Hill-Murphy also braved piranha-infested waters in a dugout canoe to replicate the 1769 expedition of Isabel Godin, the only survivor of a 42-person, 4000-mile expedition along the Amazon River. Jacki says: “We are all adventuresses who need to travel to be who we are and we are better people for it.” She has written two books: ‘Adventuresses, rediscovering daring voyages into the unknown’ and ‘The Extraordinary Tale of Kate Marsden and my journey across Siberia in her footsteps’ and numerous stories and articles about her project.


Twitter: @jackihillmurphy

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Bob Jackson

The story of the incredible life of Dr. Aidan MacCarthy (1913-95) the only person to have survived the two events that mark the beginning and end of the Second World War. He was evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk after three days of relentless attacks in May 1940, and he was trembling in a makeshift bomb shelter in the centre of Nagasaki when the atomic bomb destroyed the city in August 1945. In the intervening years, he survived burning planes, sinking ships, jungle warfare, starvation, disease, captivity, and slave labour.

Bob Jackson lectures in Creative Media at the Institute of Technology, Tralee. He produced the feature documentary A Doctor’s Sword, which was released in Irish cinemas in 2015 and will be released in the UK in 2016. Bob also works in music production, and lives in Cork City.

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Donald Brady

Donald BradyDonald Brady was born in Cavan and obtained his B.A. in History and English at Maynooth. He was County Librarian for County Waterford from 1982 until 2010. He served as director of the West Waterford Heritage Week in 1991 and 1992. He was the co-ordinator of Waterford County Council’s Famine Commemoration Programme and served on the National Committee charged with the protection of the Woodstown Viking Settlement.

He has edited major Waterford histories including, Hansard’s History of Waterford and Smith’s History of Waterford. In May this year his work, Mary Anne Sadlier, his 9th book, was published. His presentation on Sir Richard Musgrave marks his 14th consecutive appearance on the Immrama Programme. He has just recommenced serious research on Regina Maria Roche, renowned and ground-breaking Waterford author.

Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.

Thanks to all our sponsors, without whom Immrama would not be possible.

About Lismore Immrama

Immrama is held in Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland, on a weekend in June each year since 2003. Immrama has been dedicated to the art of Travel Writing, Good Music, and Fine Entertainment since its inception. Over the centuries many people have made journeys to and from Lismore and we hope that you will enjoy your lmmram in Lismore.

Contact Information

Tel: +353-85-8628445


Social Media

Website by: Déise Design