Olivia O’Leary


Olivia O ‘Leary is an Irish journalist, writer and current affairs presenter. She currently broadcasts a weekly political diary on RTE ‘s Drivetime.

In 1972 joined RTE as a current affairs presenter. She later worked as a presenter on Today Tonight, Questions and Answers and Prime Time. In the 70s she became the first regular female senior presenter of the BBC ‘s current affairs programme, Newsnight.

She co-authored the book Mary Robinson: The Authorised Biography (1998).

She famously denounced and left the Catholic Church in 2009 over the cover up of clerical abuse scandals and the long-standing refusal of the church to ordain women.

She is from Borris Village and joins us every year at the festival, at which she has interviewed Paul Murray, Joseph O ‘Connor, Joanne O ‘Riordan ¬†and most recently, Hyeonseo Lee.