‘Ulster’ identities under the spotlight at Carruthers event

Broadcaster Mark Carruthers will present a discussion on his new book, ‘Alternative Ulsters: Conversations on Identity’, at the Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, Limavady, on Saturday, November 30, at 5pm.

Over the past 18 months, Mark has set out on a journey to interview more than 30 public figures from across Ireland with opinions to share and personal stories to tell.

He conducted candid interviews with renowned people including Seamus Heaney (published posthumously), Liam Neeson, Kenneth Branagh, Mary McAleese, Gerry Adams, Peter Robinson and many, many more.

Collected in his new publication, ‘Alternative Ulsters: Conversations on Identity’, Mark will discuss these conversations with fellow BBC journalist Helen Mark at the Roe Valley event on November 30.

Mark Carruthers is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known broadcasters.

He joined the BBC in 1989 and currently presents a string of political programmes on television, including the weekly flagship programme “The View”, as well as “Sunday Politics” and “Stormont Today”.

Beyond politics, he is a passionate advocate of the arts. He served for more than a decade as the chairman of Tinderbox Theatre Company and is currently chairman of Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.

In 2011, Mark - a father of three - was awarded an OBE for services to drama in Northern Ireland.

In his new book, Carruthers uses his finely tuned skills as an interviewer to draw each contributor - including ‘Derry Journal’ editor Martin McGinley - into a personal reflection on identity.

The stories and experiences that helped shape and influence each of the 36 interviewees are presented in a series of colourful, lively and, at times, deeply moving exchanges.

Together, these conversations reveal a freshness of thought and a richness of culture that rarely make the headlines.

“Alternative Ulsters” is currently on the bestseller list and the publication features portraits of the interviewees by artist Colin Davidson.

Desima Connolly, Limavady Arts & Cultural Services Officer, says: ‘This is a very special event for us as Mark officially opened our venue back in 2011 and is a passionate advocate for the arts.

“More importantly, he is from Limavady and, along with locally based Helen Mark, this is sure to be an informative and entertaining evening.”

Mark will be available to sign copies of his publication on the night and copies are available at the centre’s gift shop.

Tickets are £5 with proceeds going to Mark’s charity CRY, which raises awareness of SADS: Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

To book your seat, contact the Box Office tel: 028 7776 0650.