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Kildare Drama Festival Full Programme

Full Details of Plays at the Kildare Drama Festival 2018

Important Please note that because of adverse weather conditions that the Launch of Kildare Drama Festival will now take place on Monday the 5th March with Some Girl’s. for updates please check our face book page

Wednesday 28th Feb – Kilworth Drama Group
The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh

This play tells of the relationship between mother and daughter living in an isolated part of Ireland. The Mother Mag is manipulative, and exploits her daughter Maureen to a point where she has become bitter and neurotic. Maureen has a chance of normalcy when she runs into Pato a local stable fella who becomes enamoured with her. Mag steps in and subverts their growing relationship driving Maureen to insanity thus making her an image of her mother.

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Thursday 1st Mar – Ballycogley Players
The Night Alive by Conor McPherson

Set in Dublin, The Night Alive tells the story of Tommy, a middle aged separated man,  just about getting by, he is renting a rundown room in his Uncle Maurice’s house and rolling from one Get Rich quick scheme to another with his pal Doc.

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Friday 2nd Mar – Ballyduff Drama Group
Albertine in Five Times by Michael Tremblay

Of all the characters he has created, Albertine seems to have a particular hold on internationally celebrated playwright Michael Tremblay. In Albertine in Five Times, translated by Linda Gaboriau, we see her at five different ages from the 1940’s to 1980’s and try to figure out if there was a point when she might have chosen a different fate.

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Saturday 3rd Mar – Starts at 7:30pm
Schools night of drama

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Monday 5th Mar – Curtain Call Productions
Some Girls by Neil La Bute

“Guy”, an up-and-coming writer, is about to get married. Before his wedding, he decides to visit his ex-girlfriends, all of whom he mistreated. We follow “Guy” on his odyssey through the landscape of his messy breakups.

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Tuesday 6th Mar – Holycross/Ballycahill
Bold Girls by Rona Munro

Bold Girls is a stirring play about the lives of three women, Marie, Nora and Cassie, living in war-torn Belfast. Although their man have been killed or imprisoned for their political activities, everyday life must go on, with a mixture of heartache and fun. However, the appearance of a disturbing young girl, and Cassie’s revelations suddenly threaten Marie’s carefully structured widowhood. Suddenly, all will change.

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Wednesday 7th Mar – Kilrush D.G. Co. Wexford
The Weir by Conor McPherson

In a bar in rural Ireland, the landlord and three regulars attempt to spook a young woman who has recently arrived from Dublin. But as the conversation progresses, it is Valerie who ends up scaring the men.

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Thursday 8th Mar – Kilmuckridge Drama Group
The Seafarer by Conor McPherson

The Seafarer is a 2006 play by Conor McPherson. It is set on Christmas Eve in Baldoyle, in the coastal suburb town of Dublin. The play centres on James “Sharkey” Harkin an alcoholic who has recently returned to live with his blind ageing brother Richard.

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Friday 9th Mar – Brideview Drama Group
Stolen Child by Bairbre NíChaoimh & Yvonne Quinn

A humorous yet moving drama: Stolen Child tells the story of a woman adopted at birth who enlists the help of a colourful private detective to search for her mother and who uncovers the secrets of her family history.

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Click here to return to the Kildare Drama Festival homepage

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Leixlip Castle

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To find out more about Leixlip Castle call, +353 1 6246873.

Opening Hours: 9am – 1pm

Feb:         Mon 06 – Fri 10
Mon 13 – Fri 17
Mon 27 – Tue 28
Mar:         Wed 01 – Fri 03
Mon 06 – Fri 10
May:        Mon 08 – Fri 19
Aug:         Sat 19 – Sun 27
Heritage Week
Mon 28 – Thu 31
Sep:         Fri 01 Sat 09 – Fri 22

Leixlip Castle was built soon after 1172 by Adam de Hereford, a follower of Strongbow, the Norman invader of Ireland. It has passed through many hands and has been in the ownership of Mr. Desmond Guinness and his family since 1958.

The Castle contains many items of antique furniture, tapestries, paintings and drawings and some unusual items. These include a large 18th century dolls’ house originally came Newbridge House, a military bath (which is in current use), a cabinet made in Killarney circa 1880 which is inlaid with views of ruined abbeys and round towers, Irish wolfhounds and with harps and shamrocks in the decoration. Also of interest are drawings of the six Mitford sisters by William Acton. A Print Room has been made in the Library and a corridor upstairs has also been decorated with prints.

The garden has a conservatory and a temple and white iron gates at the far end of the lawn lead to the walled vegetable garden.

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The Curragh

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The name Curragh comes from the Irish word “currach” which translates as “plain”, a place of the running horse.  The Curragh is Ireland’s largest, finest, and possibly only, example of a surviving ancient lowland unenclosed grassland. The 5,000 acres stretch from Kildare Town to Newbridge. The Curragh is surrounded on all sites by good, fertile lands however, it itself supports nutrient poor acid grasslands, severely deficient in lime and phosphorous.

The Curragh is unique in terms of it’s natural and cultural heritage.  This distinctive landscape houses the main training center for the Irish Army, a military museum, the premier racecourse for Ireland, Pollardstown Fen, Ireland’s oldest golf club, and many ancient barrows and raths.

Many famous Irish characters, including St. Brigid, the patroness of Ireland, Fionn MacCumhail and in more recent times, Dan Donnelly, the boxer are synonymous with this special place. The Curragh is also the birthplace of motor racing as it is where the first ever formal road race in Britain & Ireland was held with the Gordon Bennett Rally, 1903.

Click here to learn more about The Story of The Curragh
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Things to see and do at The Curragh

Accommodation

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How to get to The Curragh

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The Curragh is also very accessible from Kildare Town or Newbridge.

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Taghadoe Round Tower, Maynooth

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One of Maynooths oldest surviving monuments, Taghadoe Round Tower was part of an old monastic settlement and dates back to the 6th Century.

Its primary purpose was defence against local pillagers and Viking invasions but it was also used as a mark of the existence of a religious settlement. Among the ruins stands an early monastic church. The round tower itself has been renovated to some extent, however its roof was never replaced. A door stands 12ft above ground level where during times of invasion or plundering, when the warning was raised, the monks would gather all their sacred possessions and climb into the tower and pull the ladder up. This meant that there was only one entrance to defend which would have been relatively out of reach of the enemy.

The tower was used for about 1000 years but was left in ruins by the 17th Century.

The Taghadoe Round Tower is featured on the Kildare Monastic Trail available from  guidigo-logo

How to get there

It lies east of the R407, 8km southwest of Maynooth. Access to the site is free & parking is extremely limited.

OSI Discovery Series Map 50: N 9234 3456.

Latitude: 53° 21′ 12″ N / Longitude: 6° 36′ 47″ W

 

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Oughterard

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Oughterard Round Tower and Cemetery

The site, in the community of Ardclough, is a National Monument; it includes a castle dating from 1636 and a church from c. 1189.  The Round Tower is set on an elevated site in a beautifully well-maintained graveyard with a ruined late medieval barrel vault chapel (c. 1400’s).  Set into the side of the ridge with beautiful views of the Wicklow Mountains, Oughterard was the site of an important Anglo-Norman manor but there are no references to the castle here until 1636. The tower stands at 9.5 meters tall.

The parish church was granted to St. Thomas’ Abbey in Dublin before 1189 and stayed in their possession for the next 400 years. In 1540 it was said to be in need of repair and in 1576 it was being leased to Sir Henry Ratcliff. In 1596 it was granted to Richard Hardings. This church on site houses vaults belonging to Arthur Guinness, who is now buried here.

The Oughterard Round Tower is featured on the Kildare Monastic Trail available from  guidigo-logo

How to get there

It lies east of the N7, 4km southeast of Sallins. Access to the site is free.

OSI Discovery Series Map 50: N 9566 2624.

Latitude: 53° 16′ 41″ N / Longitude: 6° 33′ 57″ W

Find out more about Oughterard here

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The Abbeys of Clane

Clane was at the centre of ecclesiastical operations in Kildare due to it’s strategic location on the River Liffey and close to Dublin.

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St. Ailbhe’s Monastery

The beginning of the history of Clane dates from about 520 AD, when St Ailbhe, Bishop of Ferns founded Clane Abbey which predates St. Patrick’s. This is one of Ireland’s oldest monastic sites. It remained an important ecclesiastical site until the 13th Century when the Franciscan Friary was built in the town. The abbeys basic medieval structure was restored in the 1970’s by Clane Community Council and the grounds of the abbey landscaped into a Garden of Remembrance. 

Find out more about St. Ailbhe here

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The Clane Friary

Founded in 1258 by Gerald Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald (Lord Offaly) as a friary for the Franciscian Order. The ruins of this abbey stand close to the river Liffey, just off the main street in Clane.  A damaged effigy of a knight on the site is said to be that of Lord Offaly himself. The friary was suppressed in 1536 by Henry VIII although the friars stayed on until the it was completely destroyed in c. 1550. There are information boards and plaques on the site to help interpret it for visitors to Clane as only the remains of the Friary Church are visible today.

Find out more about Clane Franciscian Friary here

 

Clane is featured on the Kildare Monastic Trail available from  guidigo-logo

How to get there

Clane lies southeast of the N4, find out how to get there on our Clane town page.

Access to both sites is free.

 

 

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Moone High Cross

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Moone High Cross

The Moone High Cross is the second tallest high cross in Ireland and it is said to be one of the best examples in the country.  It is divided into three parts, the upper, middle and base. In 1893 the middle part was discovered and reunited with the remaining parts which were originally found in the ruins of the medieval church in 1835.  Today, the complete cross stands at 17.5 feet (5.3 meters).

There are different scenes depicted on the cross; Daniel in the lions pit, the three children in the fiery furnace and the miracle of the loaves and fishes amongst them. The monastery is believed to have been founded by St. Palladius in the 5th century, dedicated to St. Columcille in the 6th and the cross, constructed from granite, is reputed to date from the 8th century.

The Moone High Cross is featured on the Kildare Monastic Trail available from  guidigo-logo

How to get there

Take N9 South for Carlow & follow signs for Moone.
Drive through Moone Village turning right at the sign for the High Cross.
(Please note, this site can be difficult to find – feel free to ask for directions once in Moone)

OSI Discovery OS. Map: 55 S 789 927.

Find out more about Moone High Cross here
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Castledermot Monastic Site & Friary

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Castledermot Monastic Site

The monastic site of Castledermot was founded by St. Diarmuid in c.812, although there is evidence to suggest that hermitages may have existed here since the 6th century.

St. James’ Church of Ireland Church now stands on the site of the original monastery. The construction of a 20m high round tower and the presence of two ornate 10th century high crosses indicate the site’s wealth and importance. A Romanesque stone church also formed part of the monastery. However, today only a well carved doorway survives. The community’s wealth attracted some unwanted attention, and Viking raids are recorded in the Annals for the years c.841 and 867. The hogsback stone burial in the graveyard is another indication of contact with the Vikings.

After the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169, Walter de Riddlesford was granted the barony of Kilkea. Tristledermot, as it was then known, was established as a medieval borough beside the existing monastery. De Riddlesford constructed a castle in the town. This was then rebuilt in 1485 by the Earl of Kildare. It was at this time that the name of the settlement was changed to Castledermot. The castle was destroyed by Cromwellian forces in 1650 and no remains of the building have yet been found.

Tristledermot quickly became a place of administrative importance, particularly in the 14th century. From the early days of the Anglo-Norman colony, Great Councils were held where King’s officers met with the chief magnates of the land. These gradually evolved into parliamentary sessions. The first documentary reference to an Irish parliament was a meeting at Tristledermot in 1264. A structure known as the Parliament Building was located on the market square until the 18th century.

Although the settlement was on the main route from Dublin to Kilkenny, it was also a frontier town, close to native Irish territories. In 1275, the townspeople were given a royal ‘murage grant.’ This allowed them to collect tolls from people entering Tristledermot and pay for the construction and maintenance of town walls. The wall was completed around 1302 and gave Castledermot its distinctive lozenge shape. Access to the town was via three gates; Dublingate to the north, the Carlowgate to the west and the Tullowgate to the south. Despite the construction of protective walls, the town was sacked in 1316 by Edward the Bruce, in 1405 and 1427 by the McMurroughs, and was eventually taken over for a period by the Kavanaghs. By the late 15th century the town was at least nominally back in the hands of the English crown. In reality though, it was the Earl of Kildare that controlled the town. Castledermot as it was by then known was again sacked in 1530 by crown forces aiming to take it from Silken Thomas (son of the ninth Earl of Kildare).

Trade was always an important activity in the town with the first royal grant for a fair given in 1199. In 1393 Tristledermot was even granted permission for a mint to produce its own coins. Archaeological excavations have provided proof that the townspeople were involved in specialised craft activities including butchery, horn-working, blacksmithing and pottery making. There was even a locally made form of medieval pottery known as ‘Castledermot-ware’.

There were two religious houses in the town. The Priory and Hospital of St John the Baptist was founded by Walter de Riddlesford and his wife in 1210, just outside Dublingate. All that remains of this is a square tower. At the southern end of the town was the Franciscan Friary, of which the impressive church ruins remain. It was founded in c.1247. Inside is a rare cadaver grave stone dating to about 1520. Both of these houses were dissolved in 1541.

With the loss of both its administrative and religious functions the town became more dependent on its market function. By the mid-19th Castledermot was described as having ‘neither trade nor manufacture; the place is wholly dependent on agriculture, and on the traffic resulting from its situation on a public thoroughfare.’

This information is courtesy of www.irishwalledtownsnetwork.ie, for more contact;

Castledermot Local History Group
castledermothist@gmail.com

Find out more about Castledermot here

 

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St. Brigid’s Sacred Sites & Stories

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St. Brigid

Mary of the Gael – is the patroness of Ireland. Her feast day St. Brigid’s Day,  is on the 1st February (she died around 523 or 524 AD) and is celebrated each year in the town under the auspices of the Brigidine Sisters during the festival called Féile Bride (Festival of St. Brigid).

This festival, which takes place around St. Brigid’s Day, 1st February, is a five day event organised by the Brigidine Sisters. It features a pilgrimage to St. Brigid’s Well on the eve of the feast day and a peace and justice conference. Local schools are involved in bringing the story of St. Brigid to life through weaving of crosses and dramatisations of her life.

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The celebration of the Eucharist and other creative rituals are conducted in the local churches and at St Brigid’s Well. Artists entertain those who come to a feast of poetry, music, song and dance. Locals and visitors together explore places associated with Brigid in Kildare Town and The Curragh.  Féile Bríde attracts participants from many countries.

St. Brigid is forever associated with Kildare Town and The Curragh is known as St. Brigid’s Pastures. According to legend, it was granted to St. Brigid by the King of Leinster in return for reducing the size of his ears. Having agreed to settle for a portion of land that her cloak would cover, Brigid threw down her cloak and it spread until it encompassed the whole Curragh (5,000 acres).

Text taken from “The Hundred Acres, Kildare Town Slí na Sláinte and Heritage Trail” by Mario Corrigan & “Rekindling the Flame” by Rita Minehan (Both available in our gift shop)

 

St Brigids Cathedral

 St. Brigid’s Cathedral & Round Tower

This marks the original site of the Church of St Brigid (Patroness of Ireland) which was established under an oak tree. The original stone Cathedral was built by Ralph De Bristol, Bishop of Kildare in 1223 AD. The modern Cathedral was almost completely rebuilt in the late 19th Century. Within the grounds you have Ireland’s Highest accessible Round Tower (12th Century) and the remains of St. Brigid’s Firehouse where her inextinguishable fire was kept by her Sisters until the time of the reformation. In 1993, the sacred flame was symbolically relit in Market Square in Kildare Town by Mary Teresa Cullen, the then leader of the Brigidine Sisters.  Kildare County Council commissioned a sculpture to house the flame in Kildare Town Square in 2005. President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, presided at the lighting of the Perpetual Flame in the Town Square on St. Brigid’s Day 2006. The Sacred flame was lit from the flame tended by the Brigidine Sisters in the new Solas Bhríde Centre on Tully Road in Kildare.

Read More…

Cathedral & Round Tower Opening Times

1st of May until 30th September
(Access to the Cathedral Grounds ONLY can be gained October – January by dropping into the Kildare Town Heritage Centre first)

Monday-Saturday, 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Sundays 2pm to 5pm. Last entrance is 4.45pm daily.

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The Three Abbeys of Kildare Town

The Three Abbeys

Kildare Town is home to three Abbeys of great historical importance. The Grey & the White Abbeys were founded by Lord of Kildare & Justiciar of Ireland, William de Vesci in 1254 & 1290 respectively.  The Black Abbey was founded in 1212 in Tully by the Knights Hospitaller.

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The White Abbey

Founded in 1290 by William De Vesci Lord of Kildare. It was a Carmelite foundation but became known as the White Abbey because of the colour of the Carmelites habits. It was surrendered to the Crown in 1539 during the Reformation but the Carmelites returned to Kildare around 1710. The Carmelites of the White Abbey celebrated the 700th anniversary of their foundation in 1990.

Find out more about The White Abbey here

The Grey Abbey (2)

 

 

 

 

 

The Grey Abbey

The abbey lies south of the town and its ruins have recently undergone restoration work to stabilize them. The Grey Abbey was supposedly erected by Lord William De Vesci for the Franciscan Friars around 1254 although it was to thrive under the Fitzgeralds. The name, the Grey Abbey simply refers to the colour of the habit that the monks wore.  At least four Earls of Kildare are buried there.  A Grey Abbey Conservation project has been underway for the past number of years, you can find out more about it on the Grey Abbey Conservation page.

Find out more about The Grey Abbey here

The Black Abbey

The Black Abbey

The abbey ruins are in the grounds of the Irish National Stud. The Knights Hospitallers or Knights of St. John of Jerusalem founded the Black Abbey sometime before 1212 at Tully. The Abbey thrived under the patronage of the various Lords of Kildare but remained a Hospitaller preceptory until it was surrendered to the Crown during the Reformation. It was known as the Black Abbey because the Hospitallers wore black habits in the preceptory.

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Contact Info

Kildare Town Heritage Centre, Market Square, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

Tel: 00353 45 530 672
Email: info@kildareheritage.com

Opening Hours- Wintertime
(November-January)

Monday – Saturday:
9.30am – 1:00pm &
2:00pm – 5:00pm

Sunday: Closed