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Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards: Ireland’s Best Small Stay 2024

Behind Every Face, There’s Another Discovery.

Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Felicity is the author of the Finfarran series of novels set on a fictional peninsula on Ireland’s West Coast.  She does a lot of her writing from her stone house on the Dingle Peninsula.

What are some challenges you think the next generation will face?

I think climate change is going to be our greatest challenge and it’s wonderful that young people like Greta Thunberg are stepping up. Though, as Greta says, they shouldn’t have to.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Health and loving friends.

If you could have lunch with one person alive or dead, who would it be?


What was the most favourite fairy tale growing up?

Cinderella, because I found out at an early stage that it’s a perfect example of how the same stories are told all over the world in different forms. It originated, as far as we know, in China and I loved the fact that the Chinese Cinderella wasn’t a passive female character but a skilled potter!

Which of your personality traits has been the most useful?


If you could write one new law that everyone had to obey, what law would you create?

I’d enact the Ecocide law submitted by Polly Higgins to the UN Law Commission in 2010. “Ecocide is loss, damage or destruction of ecosystem(s) of a given territory(ies) … such that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or will be severely diminished.”

What is the best to start the day?

Porridge and a walk on Béal Bán.

What are most people surprised to learn about you?

Maeve Binchy was my Latin teacher.

What food combination do you want to ban?

Celery and anything.

What’s the best advice you have ever received?

My mother’s. “Never ask anyone for more than they can give”.

What skill or craft would you like to master?

I wish I had even half the husbandry skills of our late neighbour Jack Flaherty, or understood a tenth of what he knew about working with cattle and dogs. "Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal".

What’s the best meal you have ever had?

My husband is a brilliant cook but I have to say we’ve had fabulous meals in Fentons in Green St, and wonderful evenings eating in the pubs and cafés back west.

What is your background?

I was born in Dublin. My dad was from Galway and my mum from Enniscorthy. After I left college I went to London to study as an actress and went on to become a professional writer and author.

Favourite or most inspirational place?

Corca Dhuibhne, gan amhras.

Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Béal Bán Races

The Heart of Summer by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

You can enjoy Felicity’s Dingle the next time you stay at Pax House, follow her on Twitter @fhayesmccoy, or visit her website at

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Stephen Brennan

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