Ireland’s Edge - The Good Life / Slí Bheatha

Event Date
Dec 2
Dec 3, 2022
Dingle Skellig Hotel
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Ireland’s Edge - The Good Life / Slí Bheatha

We are delighted present the full programme for Ireland’s Edge - The Good Life / Slí Bheatha taking place in the Dingle Skellig Hotel on Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd of December. 

‘The Good Life / Slí Bheatha’ informs an action and activist-oriented discussion across a wide range of topics and issues. These timely and thought-provoking conversations will explore how change has been and is being wrought in society, politics, the economy, culture, technology and the environment through collective and individual action. 

Now in its eighth year, Ireland’s Edge continues to offer germane reflections and diverse perspectives on our past, present and future in the company of an engaged, curious attendance and panels of thinkers, policy makers, innovators, commentators and artists. As always, there will be some very special musical performances.





- Cúán Green, Chef; Writer of The Ómós Digest // Edwina Guckian, Traditional Dancer and Cultural Activist // Ella McSweeney, Broadcaster and Journalist | In conversation with Christopher Kissane

FIELDWORK brings together chef and food writer, Cúán Greene, traditional dancer and cultural activist, Edwina Guckian and food and farming journalist and reporter, Ella McSweeney. Sustainability and equity in the food and agriculture sectors and across wider culture are driving motivations for all three: Cúán’s online digest Ómós ( meaning homage, duty or respect in Irish ) is an engaged and engaging commentary on the chain of human connection between producer and server. Growing up on a farm in Leitrim opened Edwina’s eyes to the connection between traditional culture and farming in the dance music and customs of the rural calendar based on the seasons of the year. Ella’s investigative writing, reporting and broadcasting has brought to light sustainable and unsustainable aspects of the contemporary food industry and farming practices.



Edwina Guckian + Cormac Begley

Acclaimed concertina player Cormac Begley joins award winning Sean Nós dancer Edwina Guckian for a very special performance.


3:05PM – 3:45PM: ATOMIC HOPE

- Frankie Fenton, Director and Writer // Kathryn Kennedy, Kennedy Films // Iida Ruishalme, Biomedical Scientist | Hosted by Ireland’s Edge Co-Founder and Emmy winning filmmaker Nuala O’Connor

ATOMIC HOPE pairs biomedical scientist Iida Ruishalme and documentary film makers Frankie Fenton and Kathryn Kennedy. Their film Atomic Hope: Inside the Pro-Nuclear Movement which screened at the Galway Film Fleadh and the IFI Documentary festival earlier this year told the story of a group of scientists activists who are making an argument for nuclear powered energy generation as the quickest cleanest and safest way to achieve decarbonisation in the time left to the planet. Iida with her fellow Finns shared a deep collective fear of nuclear power. It was her love of nature and concern for her daughter’s future that sent her searching through scientific research publications for possible ways to tackle climate change and decarbonisation. She came to believe that nuclear power had the potential to do this and has been an advocate and activist ever since. The film Atomic Hope reveals how difficult it has been for Iida and her group to make this argument in the public space such is the resistance to the very idea of reopening or rebuilding the nuclear power industry.


Fidaa Marouf, Active Citizen Scholar, University College Cork // Kevin Baker, Former Chairperson, Dublin Cycling Campaign // Dinny Galvin, Farmer | In conversation with Muireann Kelliher

Engaging across three very different domains of a cycling-friendly public-realm, energy efficiency in the Irish agricultural sector and Irish employment rights for refugees, our panellists share their stories of bringing forth novel proposals and solutions. Embodying the change they sought to bring into being, they outline why and how they felt impelled to enter the public policy sphere, what it feels like to be an volunteer-innovator there and how the contribution of initiatives like theirs can be considered and incorporated in solving problems and delivering on opportunity at local, regional and national levels.



Shon Faye, Writer | In conversation with Christopher Kissane

How do we respond to the rights and equality of trans people sadly being made an 'issue' in increasingly toxic public debate? Journalist Shon Faye's The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice became a bestseller last year by arguing that we are having the wrong conversations, and ignoring the real experiences of trans people. In conversation with Christopher Kissane, she argues that trans justice is justice for all.



A mystery musical line-up of some familiar faces come together in the form of The Mystery Big Time Band for one night only at Ireland’s Edge for a special performance of some cherished classics to see us off into the evening and into the mystic.






Carole Cadwalldr, Journalist, The Guardian / The Observer | In conversation with Muireann Kelliher

Since her last visit to Dingle in 2019, Pulitzer nominated journalist Carole Cadwalladr has defended herself in the UK High Court from a claim of libel made against her by Aaron Banks, co-founded The Citizens, a not-for-profit journalism organisation focusing on democracy, data rights and disinformation as well as assuming an increasingly active role highlighting the threats to public interest journalism and journalists across the world. In conversation with Muireann Kelliher, Carole will discuss the personal and the political impact of those experiences and what it means to her now to continue to hold power to account.



Sally Hayden, Journalist and Writer, Winner of the 2022 Orwell Prize for Political Writing | In conversation with Christopher Kissane

How has 'Fortress Europe' created a humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean? Reporter Sally Hayden's My Fourth Time We Drowned has already won the Orwell Prize and many other awards for its powerful stories of the refugees and migrants who have faced violence, abuse, and death in Libyan detention camps funded by European governments and international institutions. In conversation with Christopher Kissane, she discusses Europe's moral responsibilities in a time of refugee crises and mass migration.



Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland | In conversation with Muireann Kelliher

After an extensive career in the private sector and more recently in the IDA, Leo Clancy switched industrial policy lanes when he assumed the leadership role at Enterprise Ireland in May 2021. He shares his perspectives on recent year momentum in Irish export performance and reflects on what it will take for Ireland to play catch-up to finally deliver, at pace and scale, on the hitherto unachieved promise of a sustainable indigenous export-led wealth creation and employment proposition.



Lisa Fingleton, Artist; Corca Dhuibhne Inbhuanaithe, Creative Climate Action // Tommy Reidy, Farmer // Dinny Galvin, Farmer | In conversation with broadcaster and journalist Ella McSweeney

Local Farmers Dinny Galvin and Tommy Reidy with artist Lisa Fingleton will explore the real experience of dealing with climate change from an Irish farmers perspective. They will talk about the challenges facing farmers and also the solutions they would like to see in relation to climate action.

Lisa is currently the embedded artist with Corca Dhuibhne Inbhuanaithe / A Creative Imagining, one of 15 projects being funded by Creative Ireland’s Creative Climate Action fund.  She is working with farmers on the Dingle Peninsula to creatively look at ways in which they can respond to climate change.


John Kampfner, Author, Broadcaster, Commentator, Executive Director, UK in the World project, Chatham House | In conversation with Muireann Kelliher

The Russian invasion of Ukraine manifested at a stronger and more visible level the emergence of a new global political order. The ongoing shifts of policy by countries and blocs, large and small, across security, food, energy, trade and climate reverse decade-long alliances and relationships. Whilst many claim new-found expertise in matters geopolitical, John Kampfner has been deeply engaged in exploring, analysing and commentating on global economic, political and cultural affairs for over 25 years. With a unique vantage point in his most recent position as Executive Director of the UK in the World project at Chatham House, John outlines the drivers, directions and the unknowns of the fundamental change now underway.



Oleysa Zdorovetska, Performer, Composer, Curator // Larysa Samonsonok, Former Vice Rector, Donetsk National University of Economics | In conversation with Muireann Kelliher

Oleysa Zdorovetska, a singer and composer, has lived in Ireland for over 10 years. Larysa Samosonok, an academic and administrator, lived and studied in Ireland in the early 1990s. She arrived here again in March 2022 with her daughter. Both are deeply engaged in supporting family and community in Ukraine whilst also mobilising international support for the war and the rebuilding of Ukraine. Oleysa and Larysa will share what it is like to experience war in their homeland from here, what they expect 2023 to bring and what should understand about global political realities from the Ukrainian experience.



Oleysa Zdorovetska, Performer, Composer, Curator


Jake Harper, CEO / Founder, SOOT

What can jungles and indigestion teach us about the future of the computer?

Graphical user interfaces opened the floodgates to personal computing in the 1970s. We now live in the era of Artificial Intelligence and Quantum computers. The amount and complexity of information we interact with has since grown exponentially, but the interaction model is largely the same.

Jake Harper and his company SOOT, a creative technology lab, are using machine learning to free the GUI from the grid for the next era of personal computing. For its design, they took inspiration from outside the world of technology to high-bandwidth user interfaces that look nothing like the GUI. One is an exterior world - a rainforest. The second is located in an interior world, the human body. Specifically, a body that is feeling a little bit of indigestion.


Aideen Barry, Artist | In conversation with Christopher Kissane

What do arts and culture mean at the end of the world? In an age of pandemic, war, and environmental crisis, artist Aideen Barry's 'Oblivion/Seachmalltacht' uses technology and tradition to explore our responses to existential threats through Irish harp music, Inuit throat-singing, and apocalyptic visuals. In conversation with Christopher Kissane, she discusses what art can offer us when culture, ecology, and humanity face extinction.


4:00PM – 4:40PM: An "Annus Horribilis" - Aoife and Séamas Reel In 2022

Séamas O'Reilly, Journalist and Writer // Aoife Moore, Journalist, Political Correspondent, The Sunday Times

Sunday Times political correspondent, Aoife Moore, and bestselling writer and journalist, Séamas O’Reilly don their Derry jerseys and take a look back on a tumultuous 2022 - the good, the bad, the bizarre and the lettuce.





Aoife Ní Bhriain


Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Ireland’s Edge – The Good Life / Slí Bheatha will take the form of a two day in-person conference at 2pm on Friday 2nd and from 11am - 5:30pm on Saturday the 3rd of December. Please note, entry to Ireland's Edge is not including in Dingle Gin Music Trail wristbands and is ticketed separately.


// Contributors 2022 //

John Kamphner, Author, Broadcaster, Commentator, Executive Director, UK in the World project, Chatham House

John Kampfner is an award-winning author, broadcaster, commentator. In March 2022, he joined Chatham House as Executive Director, UK in the World project.

Sally Hayden,

Sally Hayden is a journalist and the author of 'My Fourth Time, We Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World's Deadliest Migration Route', which was published in March 2022 and won this year's Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the Michel Déon Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction and longlisted for the Moore Prize for Human Rights Writing. Sally has reported across the Middle East, Europe and Africa for the past decade. She currently works as the Africa correspondent for the Irish Times, and has also worked for outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN International, Newsweek, TIME, Channel 4 News, BBC, the Guardian, VICE and RTE.

Séamas O'Reilly, Journalist and Writer

Séamas O’Reilly is a journalist from Derry who mainly writes about culture, politics and parenting. As well as weekly columns for The Observer, Tatler and The Irish Times, he's written for The New York Times, Guardian, BBC Radio 4, VICE and New Statesman. In 2021 he released his first book, a childhood memoir entitled Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?, which topped the Irish bestseller's list for seven weeks. Séamas lives in Hackney with his wife, toddler, and numerous TV subscription services.

Aoife Moore, Journalist, Political Correspondent, The Sunday Times 

Aoife Moore is political correspondent for the Sunday Times Ireland and Irish Journalist of the Year 2021. Born in Derry city during the peace process, she has dedicated much of her career focusing on social justice and women’s issues as well as commentary on the Northern Ireland peace process. She has won awards for her coverage of riots in her home town as well as investigations into Direct Provision, the Mother and Baby Homes and uncovering the Golfgate scandal. She is currently writing a book about modern Sinn Fein.

Frankie Fenton, Writer / Director

Frankie is an award winning Irish Director/Producer. He worked primarily in London’s post production sector before returning home to Ireland to begin a career in production. He regularly participates in pitching, financing and lecturing in many forums internationally. He is also the company director of Kennedy Films Ltd. Recent directing credits include the multi award winning and theatrically released feature documentary "It's Not Yet Dark". The film has been screened in over 50 countries. His next feature documentary “Atomic Hope – Inside the Pro-Nuclear Movement” had its world premiere at Hot Docs Film Festival 2022. It follows over a ten-year period environmental activists and scientists who strongly believe nuclear power is the key to solving both our energy and climate crisis. It will be released in cinemas in January 2023.

Kathryn Kennedy, Kennedy Films

Kathryn Kennedy is a multi- award winning creative Irish Producer of fiction and documentary feature films. She is CEO of Kennedy Films, and a member of ACE (Ateliers du Cinema Européen). Kennedy’s first feature documentary It’s Not Yet Dark, directed by Frankie Fenton and narrated by Colin Farrell, is based on the best-selling book of the same name written by Simon Fitzmaurice. It won Best Documentary and Best Cinematography at the Galway Film Fleadh, and was selected for International Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It had a highly successful festival run and successful theatrical, VOD releases in the US and internationally. Atomic Hope: Inside the Pro-Nuclear Movement, is Kennedy Films’ second feature documentary, directed by Frankie Fenton, which premiered at Hot Docs 2022 and is due for theatrical release and worldwide distribution in 2023. Kennedy’s first fiction film was 8-time IFTA nominated, My Name is Emily, with writer/director Simon Fitzmaurice. The film is a world-first as the Director Simon Fitzmaurice was physically paralysed with Motor Neuron Disease (ALS), he wrote and directed the entire film solely with his eyes and Tobii eye gaze technology. Kennedy Films has a slate of fiction, documentary and TV projects in financing and development.

Iida Ruishalme, Biologist

Iida Ruishalme is a Finnish biologist specializing in biomedical research now living and working in Zurich. She features in the film Atomic Hope amongst a group of scientists advocating for nuclear power as the optimum way in which to decarbonize the environment.

Initially it was her concern for the environment and the world her children will grow up in that prompted her interest in climate change mitigation. She began to rethink her negative impressions about nuclear power and has come to believe that misconceptions about nuclear power were a major hindrance in the climate fight. At this point her environmental concerns turned into activism and she became a “Mother for Nuclear.”

Iida says “I want to be a part of the change to help people build a world where human welfare does not come at the cost of the natural world."

Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland

Leo Clancy is Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland, the state agency that helps Irish companies to start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets.

Before being appointed as CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Leo was part of the Executive team at IDA Ireland, responsible for a number of areas including Technology and Business Services markets, IT and Marketing. In that role, Leo worked extensively with global technology and services companies invested in Ireland. 

Prior to his public sector career, Leo spent 17 years in the telecommunications industry, including in a number of management, technical and engineering roles. He was part of the senior leadership team at e|net, a high-growth Irish wholesale broadband provider. He spent the early part of his career at Ericsson, working as an engineer and manager in Ireland and across Europe, the Middle East and Africa within global services on deployment of telecommunications networks.

Leo is a graduate of Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Dublin Institute of Technology.

He grew up on a farm in County Tipperary and retains a strong fundamental understanding of the agricultural and food sector.

Cúán Greene, Chef; Writer of The Ómós Digest 

Cúán is an Irish chef and author of the Ómós Digest, an exploratory newsletter surrounding food and culture. He is an alum of restaurants Noma and Geranium in Copenhagen, and the former head chef of Bastible in Dublin.

Cúán’s belief is that more can be brought by working together through the process of communication, learning, and understanding other’s crafts and inspirations. Ómós is a traveling caravan of those ideas; collaborations of food and innovations; and investigations surrounding what we eat. The word comes from the Irish language, meaning homage, duty, and respect. Ómós is an idea that Cúán has been developing since he returned from a 4-year stint cooking in Copenhagen. Drawing on his experience at restaurant Noma, Cúán’s ambition is to develop the dining experience, widening the understanding that place, space, and community plays, in equal measure.

Edwina Guckian, Dancer; Artistic Director of Leitrim Dance Project

Dancer, choreographer, film maker, farmer and community activist Edwina Guckian is firmly rooted in her home county of Leitrim. Having grown up in a family of musicians and dancers and being influenced further by the locals of Roscommon and Leitrim, her unique style of Sean Nós dancing developed from an early age. She is the artist director of Leitrim Dance Festival as well as Áirc Damhsa now in its 19th year - a culture club for children and adults to celebrate Irish culture through music, song, dance, folklore and Gaeilge. Recent work includes reviving the Mumming tradition in Leitrim through Sowing the Seed project which sees over 350 Leitrim people growing oats organically on their land and using the oats and straw sustainably. Most recently she was awarded the TG4 Gradam Comaine for her outstanding contribution to the traditional arts. Edwina is the artist in residency at St. Patrick’s Campus DCU Drumcondra for 2022/23.

Aideen Barry, Artist

Aideen Barry visual artist based in Ireland but with an international profile. Her means of expression are interchangeable, incorporating performance, sculpture, film, text and experimental lens based media, She often employs visual trickery to create a heightened suspension of reality that comments on otherness; often collaborating with artists & communities to manifest her multi-diverse socio-political works.

Jake Harper, CEO + CoFounder, SOOT

Jake Harper is an artist, designer, composer, and inventor. His work has been exhibited at museums and institutions around the world including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Tate Modern in London, among others. He is a pioneer of the field of social robotics, focusing on the realm of vehicle dynamics, sound, and light as a medium for communication between self-driving cars and humans in urban environments. He founded SOOT in 2020 to adapt graphical user interfaces used in personal computers to harness the self-organizing structures of user interfaces found in nature, particularly the soundscape ecology of rainforests.

Corca Dhuibhne Inbhuanaithe - Creative Climate Action 

Cormac Begley

Cormac Begley is a solo bass, baritone, treble and piccolo concertina player from a West-Kerry musical family. He also plays in a range of collaborations with Liam O Connor (fiddle), Rushad Eggleston (cello goblin), Liam Ó Maonlaí (singer and multi-instrumentalist) and Lisa O’Neil (singer songwriter). He is the founder of the Airt Residential School and the award winning Tunes in the Church live concert series in Galway and Dublin. In 2018, he was shortlisted for the RTE Radio 1 ‘Folk Instrumentalist of the Year’ and his debut solo has received nine 5-star reviews and was shortlisted for the Irish Times Album of the Year 2018.

Larysa Samosonok

Dr Larysa Samosonok is a Ukranian academic who was tasked with moving and rebuilding Donetsk National University of Economics after Russia initially invaded the Donbas region in 2014. She was the Vice-Rector of International Relations at the University from 2014 until 2017 before taking a leading role with the UN and EU backed NGO "Interaction - Plus", an organisation that works with civil society in Donetsk and Luhansk regions to restore social and critical infrastructure in territories under attack from Russia in Eastern Ukraine.

Shon Faye - Writer  

Shon Faye is a writer from Bristol and one of the UK’s leading commentators on trans politics. Originally training as a solicitor before leaving the law for the arts, she has worked variously as a writer, presenter, editor, screenwriter and cabaret comedian, and in the charity sector with Amnesty International and Stonewall. Her first short film was exhibited at Tate Britain's Queer British Art exhibition throughout 2017 and in 2018 she hosted Amnesty International's Women Making History festival, held to celebrate the centenary of women's suffrage. She was an editor-at-large at Dazed, and her writing has been published by the Guardian, the Independent and Vice, among others. Her first book, The Transgender Issue, was published by Penguin Press in 2021 and was an instant Sunday Times bestseller.

The Mystery Big Time Band

A mystery musical line-up come together in the form of the Mystery Big Time Band for one night only to sing us into the evening with some old favourites and see us on our merry way.

Ireland’s Edge - The Good Life / Slí Bheatha is supported by leading partner Intel Ireland, and further supported by Jones Engineering and Kerry County Council. 

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