• We run talks and workshops on Irish literature, and appear regularly at local festivals and libraries.
    • We have produced articles online and in print on Irish literature.
    • We run Irish storytelling for children.

    See home page for current and forthcoming events, and our archives for details of past events. The buttons leading to NISG archives are on the left-hand column of this page.
    If you are interested in inviting us to speak at your event, or to write something on Irish literature or culture, get in touch on

    A leaflet from our archives:

     Feedback on Ireland’s Writers series:
    – Excellent series of talks – very well presented and clearly lots of time and effort went into the presentations. It’s inspired me to read authors.
    – Thoroughly enjoyed the talks I came to, especially the humour. I liked this happening in summer when I feel more inclined to go out in the evenings. Also thought it was very well presented.
    – Brilliant! Unlocked lots of desires to read lots & lots & lots.
    – Poets please – including modern ones.
    – Really enjoyed this series of talks. I had no knowledge of Irish writers beyond Yeats and feel much better informed. It has awoken my desire to know more about my ‘Irishness’.
    Some more archive material about the Irish Reading Group. It has lapsed for the moment, but if you’re interested in reviving it, email

    The Irish Reading Group continued until the summer break, reading a diverse range of books by John McGahern, Edna O’Brien, Roddy Doyle, Colm Tóibín, and Bernard MacLaverty. Some members joined the poetry reading group to discuss Seamus Heaney’s new collection District & Circle.
    After a short break, the Reading Group is now active again. Anyone interested should email or drop into Nottingham Central Library, Angel Row, and ask for details of meetings.

    In conjunction with Mansfield Irish groups, Deirdre O’Byrne ran an 8-week course in the Black Bull. Seven weeks covered Irish literature on such topics as comic writing, the family, the Irish in Britain, and Irish attitudes to death. Ken Loach’s controversial film The Wind That Shakes the Barley was shown, with an introduction by Deirdre.

    Tell Me About the Irish Reading Group

    It’s a group of people interested in reading and discussing Irish literature. Some of us met on a short course on Irish writers a couple of years ago, and set up this group to expand our reading. It has also widened our circle of friends.

    Must I be Irish to join?

    No – everyone is welcome.

    Do I have to attend every meeting?

    No. Come as often (or as seldom) as suits you.

    Who chooses the books?

    Group members suggest books – all have equal say.

    Name some authors you’ve read so far

    John Banville, Paul Durcan, Anne Enright, Jennifer Johnston, James Joyce, Molly Keane, Colm Tóibín, Deirdre Madden, Patrick McCabe, Bernard O’Donoghue, William Trevor, Niall Williams, Sebastian Barry, John McGahern, Edna O’Brien, Roddy Doyle, Bernard MacLaverty, Seamus Heaney, Jamie O’Neill.

    Any controversial choices?

    In The Forest by Edna O’Brien – loved by some, hated by others.

    Most popular read so far?

    A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry was greatly admired by all readers. This novel deals sensitively with the part Irish soldiers played in the first World War. Highly recommended. Another great favourite was Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark. Both books were short-listed for the Booker Prize.

    What do members say?

    ‘This is a really successful reading group and I enjoy it immensely. The descriptions and stories are given added depth through the remembered events and pasts of group members. People make a real commitment to reading the books and participating in discussions.’ Anne

    It’s free, and friendly.

    NOTTINGHAM IRISH STUDIES GROUP run regular events on Irish literature, with the support of Nottingham City and County Literature and Reading Development Officers.

    If you would like advice on setting up your own reading group, email Contact us with your own suggestions for a good Irish read, or ask for our list of recommended Irish fiction.