Ruairí McKiernan in conversation with Anne Flaherty

17th February 2021, 12am

We are pleased to present Ruairí McKiernan in conversation with Anne Flaherty as part of the Ireland Reads initiative.

About Ruairí McKiernan

Ruairí McKiernan is an award-winning social innovator, campaigner, speaker and bestselling author. In 2012 was appointed to the Council of State by President Michael D Higgins, where he served a 7-year term. His debut book Hitching for Hope – A Journey into the Heart and Soul of Ireland was released in 2020 and became a number 1 bestseller. The book is described as ‘a powerful manifesto for hope and healing in turbulent times’ and explores a hitch-hiking odyssey he undertook around Ireland following the collapse of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger economy. Originally from Cootehill, County Cavan, Ruairí is a business graduate and a Fulbright scholar. He is the founder of the pioneering national youth organisation, a founding member of the Uplift campaigning organisation, and part of the founding team behind Gaelic Voices For Change. He is also the host of the chart-topping Love and Courage podcast, host of the Creative Souls of Clare podcast, and a regular contributor to the media on health, social and community issues. Ruairí is married to Limerick-born singer, songwriter, musician and meditation teacher Susan Quirke and they live in Lahinch, on the west coast of County Clare.

About Anne Flaherty

A journalist born in London and growing up in County Clare, Anne has worked for The Irish Press in Dublin and The Irish Times in Belfast as well as reporting from  Africa and Asia.  She is a graduate of  Trinity College Dublin, and holds an MA in Anglo-Irish Writing from Queen’s University Belfast and an MA in Children’s  Literature from the University of Surrey.

About the Ireland Reads campaign

The ICC is liaising with the Libraries Development Unit, part of Local Government Strategy, Research and Communication in Ireland in their current literary campaign to encourage reading for pleasure, escape, mental stimulation and wellbeing during Covid-19 and beyond.  This campaign is part of the ‘Keep Well’ programme, a cross-government initiative that encourages those involved in creativity, the arts or businesses to find ways to support and help us to mind our  physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The ‘Ireland Reads’ campaign runs from 4-25 February 2021.  The dedicated website – –  will provide information on how you can sign up to pledge to read on 25th February.