(Peter Murtagh’s appeared in the Irish Times, 1/18.)

The Donegal cottage that was the setting for Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa is to be preserved and will form eventually the centrepiece of a planned Brian Friel Centre, in honour of the playwright who died last year.

The cottage has been bought by Joe Mulholland, the former RTÉ executive and director of the MacGill Summer School, working with Francis Brennan, a Glenties estate agent and long-time admirer of Friel’s work.

Ownership of the property is to be vested in a Brian Friel Trust which Mulholland is setting up and on which both men will sit. The other members are RTÉ chairwoman Moya Doherty; Orlaith McBride, director of the Arts Council; Noel Pearson, theatre and film producer; Tom Kilroy, playwright; Mary Finan, public relations executive and Gate Theatre board member, Joe Dowling, theatre director; Michael McDowell, barrister and former politician, Séamus Neely, chief executive of Donegal County Council; and Mary Friel Bateman, one of Brian Friel’s daughters.


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