Louth County Council announce the launch of Brigid1500: ‘Louth Birthplace of Brigid’, a programme of events and initiatives to honour the life and legacy of Brigid.
The enduring story of Ireland’s iconic matron saint was celebrated at the launch in County Hall, Dundalk, where the programme of events to mark Brigid1500 commemorations in Louth was unveiled.
From festivals to live theatre performances, illuminated visual displays, exhibitions, craft workshops and dedicated school projects, the wee county will be home to a series of unique events to mark the 1,500th anniversary of ‘St. Brigid’s’ passing.
With the townland of Faughart in north Louth long being held as the birthplace of Brigid, the local celebrations will be especially significant in fostering tangible links to the past, and creating a cultural and meaningful legacy that is reflective of contemporary Louth.
The programme will commence with the launch of the Brigid1500 Arts Exhibition which aims to capture the remarkable life story of one of the country’s best known saints. It will feature original art pieces from the ‘Artist In the Community’ project.
A newly designed St. Brigid’s Cloak by the students of St. Brigid’s School, Ard Easmuinn, will also be on display during the exhibition.
Dundalk town centre is set to be illuminated with aspectacular lighting show celebrating ‘Brigid of Faughart’ as a beacon of light connecting the past to the present, illuminating her legacy and transcending her story into the future!
Louth Library Service in conjunction with Louth County Council Arts Office are delighted to announce the return of the Brigid workshops that took place between May and July this year as part of the Brigid Cloak Tour.
St. Brigid’s Cross making workshops for local schools will also be held in Dundalk Library.
A new live theatre performance event, which will re-tell the story of St. Brigid from her birth and childhood in Faughart, to her death in Kildare has been specially commissioned for the Brigid1500 celebrations. The event will take place in An Táin Arts Centre on February 1st and 2nd, 2024.
The team at ‘Candlelit Tales’ have created a unique performance to commemorate Brigid. Booking for this event will be opening towards the end of the year.
The programme will also feature the ‘St. Brigid Of Ireland’ exhibition in the County Museum, which aims to capture the remarkable life story of one of the country’s best known saints. The exhibition will highlight Brigid’s roots in both pagan and Christian traditions, and will explore her diverse interests including dairy farming, beekeeping, the creative arts, and her work with mothers and children.
Interesting details on Brigid’s local legacy are currently being compiled and will be accessible through a series of QR codes added to information panels at the Brigid sites in Louth, which will link to the Brigid1500 page on the ‘Visit Louth’ website.
Louth County Council have launched the Brigid1500 Retail Window Decoration Scheme, which will be open for applications from Wednesday 25th October, 2023. Application Forms together with the full Terms & Conditions of the scheme are available on the Louth County Council website.
The Brigid1500 Grant Scheme for Creative & Community Events 2024 scheme will be open to individual artists, art groups and community groups who wish to run creative and community projects, or events, for the Brigid1500 Festival in 2024. Applications will be accepted under this scheme from November 2023.
Louth County Council have designed a school resource pack, which will be made available online in December 2023 for all schools. The pack will include colouring templates for kids to complete, historical information panels and project ideas for schools to create.
A number of associated events are also being held during the ‘Brigid1500’ commemorations including theBrigid of Faughart Festival 2024 – ‘A celebration of Brigid, Goddess and Saint,’ which is taking place in Faughart, Dundalk and Ravensdale. For more information please see www.brigidoffaughart.ie
Launching the Brigid1500 ‘Louth Birthplace of Brigid’ programme, Cllr. Paula Butterly, Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council said, “it is my great honour to officially unveil the programme for Louth’s historic commemoration of Brigid’s 1,500th anniversary. These events, projects and initiatives will celebrate and explore the ties that continue to bind Brigid’s remarkable life story and achievements to County Louth.”
Joan Martin, Chief Executive of Louth County Council stated, “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 launch this exciting programme, which will honour Louth’s vibrant cultural heritage, and will seek to engage communities throughout the county to come together and celebrate the life and legacy of Brigid.”
Source: Louth County Council