Brigid by Dee McKiernan, Herstory Light Show, St. Brigid’s Cathedral, Kildare. Credit: Dodeca
Kildare County Council, with Kildare’s Creative Ireland team and Decade of Commemorations committee, are collaborating with Herstory to illuminate landmark sites countywide for Saint Brigid’s Day 2022, and in advance of the 2024 1500th anniversary of the death of St. Brigid.
“This project is centred around Saint Brigid's Cathedral, Kildare Town, which is synonymous with Brigid, as well as The Wonderful Barn in Leixlip and Kilkea Castle near Athy. The illuminations, with artistic representations of Brigid, will literally shine a light on the life and legend of this amazing woman," says Lucina Russell, Kildare Arts Officer.
This timely event follows Herstory’s successful campaign to make Brigid’s Day Ireland’s new public holiday from 2023, in celebration of our Celtic Goddess, Matron Saint, and Imbolc, the ancient festival of Spring. This is the first public holiday named in honour of a woman and high time as Ireland already has 4 holidays named after men: Jesus, Patrick and Stephen. What a victory for all mná!
“Herstory is thrilled to co-create this spectacular light show with Kildare County Council. My mother and grandmother hail from Athy so my heart is always drawn to Kildare and the wonders of Brigid,” says Herstory CEO & Creative Director Melanie Lynch. “I’m particularly inspired by the fact that she was an abbess who co-founded a double monastery where men and women practiced their faith equally. 1500 years later and modern Ireland is still catching up with St. Brigid. What an icon for our times.”
The Kildare illuminations will also feature stunning new art of 13 indigenous Irish goddesses by local Newbridge artist Bernie Sexton from the Goddesses of Ireland book, written by Dr. Karen Ward, Founder of Moon Mná.
“In addition, we look forward to welcoming Herstory poet in residence Laura Murphy, as she creates a poetic concept film for live performance at St. Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare on Féile Bhríd,” reveals Lucina Russell, Kildare Arts Officer.
“It's been over 1500 years since Saint Brigid walked these lands and longer still since the time of Goddess Brigid, yet She has much to offer us today. A guiding light for some of Ireland’s greatest humanitarians and revolutionaries including Grace O’ Malley and Maud Gonne, Brigid has been a source of inspiration in my own life too,” says Laura Murphy, Herstory’s Poet in Residence.
A RTÉ Nationwide programme on St. Brigid will air on January 28, 2022. Meanwhile Into Kildare are distributing 5,000 candles through the library network to commemorate Feile Bhride. They are also lighting the tower on the Hill of Allen.
KILDARE LIGHT SHOW PROGRAMME
All events are free and open to the public
5.30 - 12.00am: St. Brigid's Cathedral, Kildare
5.30 - 6.30pm: Kilkea Castle
9.30 - 10.30pm: Newbridge Town Hall
11.30 - 00.00pm: The Wonderful Barn, Leixlip
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