the heart of dalkey

Maeve & Dalkey Castle

Maeve Binchy and her husband, Gordon Snell, were very supportive of the Heritage Centre at Dalkey Castle. They were both at the opening on 18th June 1998. They are included on the interactive wall in the Writers’ Gallery and feature on our Guided Literary Walks from Dalkey Castle.

Maeve’s play, ‘Deeply Regretted By…’ directed by Margaret Dunne, was staged here at Dalkey Castle shortly before her death. The late Shay Linehan adapted Maeve’s novel ‘Minding Frankie’ which had its premiere at Dalkey Castle in 2013.

In 2015, Shay adapted Maeve’s ‘Aches and Pains’ into a one-hour stage play. Directed by Margaret Dunne, it has been staged to great acclaim at Dalkey Castle and is now a popular event on our Luxury Experience: Maeve Binchy The Heart of Dalkey.

Writers Gallery pictures including Maeve Binchy at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre, Dalkey, Dublin, Ireland

1939 – 2012

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy was born on 28th May 1939 in nearby Glenageary. The family moved to live in Dalkey when she was twelve. Maeve always said that she had an idyllic childhood.

She went to Holy Child Convent School, Killiney for her secondary education and graduated from UCD in French and History.

She taught for a number of years before her love of travel and writing about it, led her into journalism at the Irish Times.

Still with the Irish Times, Maeve moved from Dublin to London and continued to write short stories and plays.

Her first novel, ‘Light a Penny Candle’ was published in 1982 and remained on the Best Seller lists for 53 weeks.

After a number of years in London, Maeve and her husband Gordon Snell, returned to live in Dalkey in the early eighties.

Read more on the Dictionary of Irish Biography with an entry by Dr Margaret Kelleher, Professor and Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College, Dublin.

Memorabilia Pages of Maeve

Maeve on not being able to attend ‘Deeply Regretted By…’

Gordon on ‘Minding Frankie’


maeve binchy and irish writers

ECHOES Festival

In 2017, Margaret Dunne inaugurated an annual literary festival ‘ECHOES Maeve Binchy and Irish Writers’ at Dalkey Castle.

ECHOES is usually attended by special guest, Gordon Snell, and members of the Binchy family.

Programmed by writer, and Maeve Binchy UCD Travel Award winner, Henrietta McKervey, it is the only literary festival with Maeve Binchy at its heart.


guided walks

Marvellously Maeve

In 2021, Dalkey Castle launched a new guided literary walk, ‘Marvellously Maeve’, which focuses on Maeve and her Dalkey connections.

Led by Rita Biggs, it has stories, anecdotes and local insider knowledge.

Join us! The walk begins in the Writers Gallery and follows outside to the Courtyard where the ‘Gordon Snell Rose’ flowers in season. Listen to Maeve’s words at the finish, in the Maeve Binchy Memorial Garden at Dalkey Library. There is a mosaic bench there in her memory.

Minimum number six persons. 

Marvellously Maeve
map of ireland with dalkey location as map marker

Directions & Transport

Dalkey is on some of the most stunning coastline, with a mountainous backdrop, just south of Dublin City Centre, en route to Co. Wicklow.

Aside from by car, the quickest way to reach the Castle is by DART. The DART journey is a relaxing experience travelling along the beautiful coastline with magnificent sea views. Dalkey is approx. 30 minutes from Dublin's Connolly, Tara or Pearse stations (travelling south). Turn right on exiting Dalkey train station.

Dalkey is on the Aircoach route to/from Dublin Airport. From Dublin City Centre, a number of local bus options are also available. Paid parking and coach parking are available nearby.

Dalkey Castle postcode for Google Maps is A96 DE61.

Actor on Living History Tour, Dalkey Castle, Dublin, Ireland

Opening Times

We are open six days a week, all year round.
Closed every Tuesday.

January - May & September - December

Monday to Friday: 10.00 - 17.30
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 11.00 - 17.30

June, July & August

Monday to Friday: 10.00 - 18.00
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 11.00 - 18.00

Tickets & Info

Tickets for Living History Tour encompass fully guided tour of 14th Century Townhouse Castle, 10th Century Early Christian Church & Graveyard, Modern Writers' Gallery & Heritage Centre with interactive screens & scale models. Dalkey Castle, where costumed actors bring history to life.



CHILD (4-12 YEARS) €10.50

*Booking Fees apply


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