Ballina Fringe Festival: Waking the Dead: Kevin Toolis in conversation with David McGowan


Ballina Fringe Festival presents Kevin Toolis, author of ‘My Father’s Wake’ in conversation with David McGowan of McGowan’s Funeral Directors.

For twenty years, writer and filmmaker Kevin Toolis hunted death in famine, war and plague across the world before finding the answer to his quest on the island of his forebears. In his memoir, ‘My Father’s Wake’, he gives an intimate, eye-witness account of the death and wake of his father, and explores the wider history of the Irish Wake.

With an uplifting, positive message at its heart, My Father’s Wake celebrates the spiritual depth of the Irish Wake and shows how we too can find a better way to deal with our mortality, by living and loving in the acceptance of death.

David McGowan is a Ballina funeral director striving to ‘protect the living and maintain the dignity of the deceased’ during the Covid-19 crisis. The Easkey native has been in the funeral business for more than 30 years. He operates funeral homes in Ballina and Sligo, as well as a state-of-the-art embalming facility in Collooney, and was recently the subject of an RTÉ documentary ‘The Funeral Director‘ which is available on the RTÉ Player.

Mr. McGowan has been an outspoken figure during the Coronovirus outbreak and has railed against what he views as ‘scaremongering’ when it comes to carrying out a funeral in these turbulent times.

Tickets: €10. Pre-booking essential. 

For booking please visit here.

Wednesday 14th October, 8pm, Ballina Arts Centre

Ballina Arts Centre