Celebrations commemorating the remarkable life of St. Brigid of Faughart are set to captivate audiences throughout Louth as the highly anticipated Brigid 1500: ‘Louth Birthplace of Brigid’ festival kicks off on January 26th, 2024.
The programme, spearheaded by Louth County Council, is a tribute to one of Ireland’s most esteemed saints, offering a rich tapestry of events and initiatives highlighting her legacy.
The festival, taking place from Friday 26th January to 5th February 2024, promises an enriching and immersive experience honouring the life, contributions, and cultural impact of this iconic Irish saint from her birth in the 5th century in Faughart, near Dundalk, Co. Louth, to her founding a monastery in Co. Kildare.
The inaugural event, the Brigid 1500 Arts Exhibition in the former Houstons building at no 4-5 Clanbrassil St, commencing on 26th January, and running until 5th February, offers a captivating portrayal of St. Brigid’s life through vibrant art pieces created by acclaimed artists Susan Farrelly, Una Curley, Claire McAteer, and Etaoin O’Reilly and led by Grainne Murphy. These art pieces, a fusion of various mediums, aim to capture the remarkable life story of one of Ireland’s best-known saints, featuring original art pieces from the ‘Artist in the Community’ project over the past 12 months. The exhibition will also feature the wonderful St. Brigid’s Cloak which was created by the students at St. Brigid’s School, Ard Easmuinn last year and which was toured around the libraries throughout the summer.
The ‘St. Brigid of Ireland’ Museum Exhibition at the County Museum, Dundalk, will be a stunning showcase honouring the life and accomplishments of one of our most revered saints. The exhibition explores her connections to both Pagan and Christian traditions and runs from 26th January to the 29th February.
The commemorative events extend beyond the art realm with Northern Lights – Brigid 1500, a stunning multisensory light performance that pays homage to Brigid of Faughart, in Dundalk Town Centre. This never seen before spectacular lighting display, choreographed to music, intertwines historical, cultural, and spiritual elements with state-of-the-art technology. Three exclusive shows will take place each evening in Dundalk Town Centre at 6pm, 6.30pm and 7pm running from Wednesday 31st of January to Monday 5th of February. Thereafter the celebrations will continue as the installation will be illuminated from 5pm – 10pm daily (without audio) until the end of the month.
A newly devised Brigid: Lady of Light theatrical performance at An Táin Arts Centre on 1st and 2nd February, promises an immersive theatrical experience, recounting St. Brigid’s compelling story from birth in Faughart to her legacy in Kildare. Commissioned by the Council this piece features local musicians, dancers and singers along with the Setanta Choir in what promises to be a wonderful evening of music and song to celebrate our female icon.
Throughout January, various Brigid Workshops, will engage communities across Dundalk, Drogheda and Ardee. Led by local artists and coordinated by Louth Library Service in conjunction with Louth Country Council Arts Office, all workshops will be free of charge.
Additionally, a series of Talks & Lectures on 27th January, led by Dr. Mary Condren and Women’s Spirit Ireland, will delve into insightful topics surrounding the saint’s life and influence. This day long event will feature renowned speakers and performers including Nóirín Ní Ríain, Ruth Marshall and Colette Allen.
The commemoration also includes captivating events such as Candlelit Tales’ performance at the historic Oriel Centre Dundalk Gaol, on 3rd February, a Brigid Trail, and the Brigid of Faughart Festival offering a diverse range of activities and experiences from 31st January to 5th February 2024.
Louth County Council Arts Officer, Moya Hodgers explained, “We are very excited to welcome visitors to Louth to join us in celebrating the enduring legacy of Brigid of Faughart. We invite visitors from far and wide to immerse themselves in the enchanting story of Ireland’s beloved saint, and we have a fantastic programme of events across the county for all the family to enjoy.”
Joan Martin, Chief Executive of Louth County Council said: “The Brigid1500 celebrations are especially significant for County Louth, which as the birthplace of Brigid, is where her incredible legacy began. Louth County Council are delighted to lead this exciting festival of events and initiatives which showcase Louth’s vibrant cultural heritage, while commemorating the life and lasting impact of Brigid.”
For Further Information please visit Visit Louth and Louth County Council website