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Funding granted to honour one of north west's most renowned writers

Hiking trail will be established to honour Flann O'Brien

Funding granted to honour one of north west's most renowned  writers

Funding has been secured to honour one of the north west’s best-known writers.

The funding will lead to a hiking trail to honour Strabane-born Brian O'Nolan who was better known by his pen names Flann O'Brien and Myles Na Gcopaleen.

The Strabane business community has been granted funding to honour the internationally renowned novelist, playwright and satirist.

The author of  At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman was born in Strabane in 1911 and died in Dublin in 1966.

The business community in Strabane has secured £5,000 in funding from the Spot-lit Literary Tourism Product Innovation Programme (PIP) which will help fund a programme of literary initiatives to celebrate the life of the writer.

The three-stage project aims to generate an enhanced understanding of the marketability of O'Brien, to carry out an outreach programme in the local community and finally develop and market a Flann O'Brien hiking trail.

The EU funded grant scheme seeks to support organisations and businesses in this culturally rich region to grow, collaborate and better engage audiences together.

Strabane BID Chairman and CEO of O'Neill's Sportswear Kieran Kennedy welcomed the opportunity to tap into the international literary tourism market.

"I am delighted that the Strabane BID will receive a Product Incubation Programme grant to develop and market a tourism product around the life and work of one of Ireland's best loved writers Flann O'Brien," he said.

"Flann is a globally renowned writer and there is a significant opportunity to tap into that international appeal by offering visitors the chance to learn more about his life story and visiting the places that shaped his life.

"I would like to congratulate the Strabane BID and Jacqueline Doherty at The Alley Theatre for their work on the successful application and I look forward to seeing how the offering develops in the coming months and years."

The Northern Periphery and Arctic region is home to a wide range of world-class literary icons and landscapes and PIP believes low levels of joined-up literary tourism activity in the NPA Region make it a sector that is ripe for development.

Spot-lit aims to grow the literary tourism sector by supporting the organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow collaborate and better engage audiences together

The project addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs.

Spot-lit will develop and deliver a Literary Tourism Industry Development Programme which will include the development and trial of four Literary Tourism Models and 20 Literary Projects.

The project will run from October 2018 until September 2021.

For more information about BID visit or email

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