Leitrim singer and musician Ailie Blunnie takes part in Iron Mountain Literature Festival this Sunday. We asked her the BIG questions . . .

as part of the festival, Ailie is one of seven artists, including Alice Lyons, Seamus O'Rourke, and Pat McCabe, who were commissioned to write a new work that reflected on their environment, particularly as they have experienced it over these past 18 months pieces.

The seven commissioned pieces will all be streamed as part of the virtual festival event this Sunday at 6.00pm.

Ailie's song, Into the War, Into the Water, was produced by Daragh Dukes and features text based on interviews with members of the coal mining industry in Ireland from two RTÉ Radio One documentaries - 1972’s From the Miners to Prosperity and 2009’s The Long Strike.

The song is inspired by the Sliabh an Iarainn, Lough Allen, and Arigna areas of Co. Leitrim and Roscommon, and the video was filmed by Edwina Guckian and features footage taken inside the Arigna coal mines - the Derreenavoggy coal mines - accessed via the Arigna Mining Experience.

Tell us three things about yourself?

My name is pronounced Ailie, like the first part of alien or the last part of ukulele.

I work as a counsellor/psychotherapist based in Dublin and am also a musician and songwriter.

I love gymnastics, especially women's artistic.

How would you describe your music?

My Twitter bio says, "Folk with a side of electronics", which sums up the singer-songwriter part of what I do quite well, I think. I write music for other things as well, like theatre productions and dance, and those can be in any genre. I recently wrote a disco track for a kids' show with my friend Daragh Dukes for gender-curious little trapeze-swinging birds to dance to. I'm hoping development on that production will resume after the pandemic!

Who are your musical inspirations?

Everyone. Hard to say. Hard question!

What are you most looking forward to post-lockdown?

I'd like to see the momentum for social, cultural and political change really getting breathing room to pick up the pace now as restrictions ease further, i.e. with the Black Lives Matter movement, Me Too, and the climate emergency, for example, getting the urgent attention and respect required now to make a real difference to our future.

What’s your favourite song right now?

My musical soundtrack at the moment is dominated by a mixture of my sister's new CD of contemporary music, poems, and stories from Ireland, Ghost Songs, which has been on repeat in the house all through the process of its development, and a Spotify playlist of traditional music that's on a constant loop in the car. I'll pick one piece of music from each: Seán Doherty's It's Strange About Stars, and The Conspiracy Reel by Steph Geremia.

Favourite lyric of all time?

I'm really bad at answering questions like this! I'll speak for right now: the line going through my head is Kate Bush's "I found a fox caught by dogs, he let me take him in my hands, his little heart it beats so fast . . . ". The emotion behind that line feels very familiar to me - when you hold a little creature in your hands and something primal inside of you vows to nurture and adore it till the end of all time. I'm told the maternal instinct feels something similar to that, but I personally only get it with animals!

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?

I don't know . . . maybe Simone Biles' floor music, but only if I can watch too.

Where can people find your music/more information?

Website: ailieblunnie.com.

Twitter: @AilieBlunnie.

Spotify: Ailie.

Bandcamp: ailie.