‘Brigid 1500’ is a programme of national and international events and initiatives to celebrate and commemorate St. Brigid, the woman, the life and the legacy launched at St. Brigid’s Cathedral. According to leading Brigidine experts, 2024 marks the 1500th anniversary of the death of St. Brigid and thus, St. Brigid’s Day, 1st February 2024 will be a key date in the programme.
The main aim of ‘Brigid 1500’ is to create a meaningful cultural and societal legacy that appeals to a diverse contemporary audience. ‘Brigid 1500’ is being delivered by Kildare County Council supported by a Steering Committee of leading experts across the fields of arts and culture, academia, tourism, industry, spirituality and faith, community, education and more. At the launch, details of two grant schemes for ‘Brigid 1500’ were also announced. Applications are now open for community groups, organisations and artists across all genres to celebrate ‘Brigid 1500’. Full details of the ‘Brigid 1500’ Grant Schemes for 2023 are now available at www.brigid1500.ie. The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 13th December 2022.
‘Brigid 1500’ will engage communities with the story and heritage of St. Brigid, providing a tangible connection with the past, through events and programmes that have an ongoing meaning and relevance. The programme will engage with the values St. Brigid championed including faith and spirituality, biodiversity and sustainability, arts and culture, social justice, peace, hospitality and education. In addition to the grant schemes, which will expand further for 2024, the programme for ‘Brigid 1500’ will comprise of festivals, concerts, talks, art commissions, illuminations and craft workshops as well as a school’s programme to help educate the children of Ireland about St. Brigid and her lasting legacy.
While 2024 is the pinnacle of ‘Brigid 1500’, 2023 will also include a memorable experience for all generations including a Brigidine Weekend, which will take place from the 4th to the 6th February 2023 and will feature concerts, talks, illuminations, walks, and more, to coincide with the new national holiday in February dedicated to St. Brigid. Further details of the Programme are available at www.brigid1500.ie.
Speaking at the launch at St. Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare Town, Cathaoirleach of the County of Kildare Councillor Fintan Brett commented, “Brigid 1500 is a great opportunity for County Kildare and Ireland. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate all the different facets of St. Brigid including her love of nature and biodiversity, her affiliation with agriculture and food, her love of the arts and culture, her passion for peace and justice for all and her lasting links to migration.”
Also in attendance at the launch was Bishop Pat Storey who is the first ever female Bishop in the Church of Ireland. The Most Rev Bishop Storey added, “it is an honour to host the launch of Brigid 1500 at St. Brigid’s Cathedral, which is built on the grounds of St. Brigid’s most famous foundation a dual convent and monastery.”
Sonya Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Kildare County Council attending the launch also said, “St. Brigid was a driving force for her generation and for her County. Kildare County Council is honoured to drive the Brigid 1500 celebrations under the direction of an impressive steering committee. Through the Brigid 1500 programme, Kildare and Ireland will tell the world of this unique saint and her legacy, which should resonate with people from all walks of life. The new national holiday associated with St. Brigid also gives us an opportunity to create something spectacular for Kildare Communities and for visitors to our County.”
Source: Kildare County Council