Kildare County Council has officially launched the Brigid 1500 festival programme for 2024, promising a diverse and spectacular calendar filled with culturally rich events taking place across Kildare. The festival will celebrate and commemorate the extraordinary St Brigid, – A Woman, A Life, A Legacy- and the enduring impact of her life as we reach the 1500th anniversary of her passing.
Taking place from 27th January to 6th February, the programme will bring together artists, performers, enthusiasts, communities and visitors to celebrate St. Brigid in a contemporary and modern way with something for everyone, from the poignant, to the spectacular.
The programme includes a special St. Brigid’s day concert in collaboration with Hot Press which will take place in the Moat Theatre, St. David’s Church, and The Potato Market to honour the life of Brigid.
Artists confirmed to take part across the programme include Eleanor McEvoy, Moya Brennan of Clannad, Mary Coughlan, Gemma Hayes, Una Healy, The Henry Girls, Lisa Lambe and Nell Mescal, with many more to be announced.
Other programme highlights will include:
- Mother Earth: A Day of Food and Music at The Wonderful Barn, Leixlip will feature a line-up of renowned female chefs including Darina Allen, Majken Bech-Bailey and Chantelle Nicholson.
- We Shall Overcome: Songs of Social Justice and Freedom, Athy
- She Moved Through The Fair – An Evening of Song, St Brigid’s Cathedral Kildare
Light shows will be unveiled around the county at prominent locations in Clane, Newbridge, and Athy, including Naas Potato Market and the new Naas Library and Cultural Centre. Two grand fiery processional events to celebrate St Brigid will take place in the towns of Maynooth and Kildare over the bank holiday weekend. The full festival programme of events can be found on www.brigid1500.ie
Sonya Kavanagh, CEO of Kildare County Council, expressed her excitement about the programme, stating, “the Brigid 1500 Programme that has been curated reflects the vibrant and diverse community of Kildare. We look forward to a calendar of events filled with cultural enrichment and we are inviting everyone to partake in the festivities, commemorating St. Brigid the woman, the life, and the legacy.”
The Brigid 1500 Programme, which is funded by Kildare County Council and Local Property Tax, also encompasses various initiatives and events, including a Community and Creative Grant Scheme, diaspora engagement, craft workshops and library events, schools programme, historical talks and walks.
Specially commissioned St Brigid art pieces will also be unveiled as part of the programme along with an artists’ exhibition, special honorary window displays and theatre programmes.
The annual Féile Bríde, organised by Solas Bríde in Kildare, will commence with a candlelight pilgrimage and ritual at St. Brigid’s well on January 31st, the eve of St. Brigid’s Day. On February 1st, County Kildare and Solas Bhríde Centre & Hermitages will lead the “Pause for Peace” movement. Residents of County Kildare will call upon people worldwide to observe a one-minute silence at 12:00 noon (local time) on Saint Brigid’s Day, February 1st, 2024. Further information on these events and the annual Justice & Peace Conference can be found at www.solasbhride.ie
Kildare County Council and the Brigid1500 team are partnering with Into Kildare (Kildare’s Tourism Board) for Féile Bríde, featuring notable events such as the illumination of the Hill of Allen on January 31st and February 1st. During these dates, the hill’s tower will be bathed in white light, symbolising hope for the new year. Other activities include engaging with the global diaspora through embassies and various campaigns. For further details, visit www.intokildare.ie
Professor Mary Corcoran, Chair of The Brigid 1500 Steering Committee, commented, “we are inspired by who St Brigid was, the strength, compassion, and resilience she had, and the values she upheld. The Brigid 1500 Programme is not just a celebration of her life but also a promise to carry forward her legacy of unity, kindness, and empowerment. We want to ensure that her influence continues to shape our community for years to come, as we embark on this journey to honour St. Brigid, a woman, a life, a legacy.”
On Thursday 1st February, 2024, there will be a special ecumenical service in St Brigid’s Cathedral, Kildare entitled, ‘Celebrating St Brigid. Brigid 1500: A Service of Thanksgiving’. The service will mark the Feast Day of St Brigid through music, prayer and worship.
Kildare County Council extends a warm invitation to our communities and visitors alike to participate in the Brigid 1500 Programme and celebrate the extraordinary life and legacy of St Brigid throughout 2024, marking the 1500th anniversary of the death of St Brigid. For more information and updates on the programme, please visit www.brigid1500.ie and all Brigid 1500 social media channels.
Source: Kildare County Council