MU joins ‘Brigid 1500’ celebration

The light spectacle, Carrying Her Flame, takes place on MU's South Campus on Feb 2
Tuesday, January 23, 2024 - 12:30

Maynooth University is delighted to join Kildare County Council in celebrating Brigid 1500, a major cultural festival to commemorate the life and legacy of St Brigid, one of Ireland’s most famous saints.

Professor Mary Corcoran of MU’s Sociology Department is chair of the Brigid Steering Committee, which has compiled a series of events, concerts, talks and workshops from January 27 to February 6, reflecting the lasting impact of Brigid on modern Ireland.

MU is playing an active part in the celebrations with Carrying Her Flame, a light spectacle by Luxe Theatre Landscape, taking place on South Campus on Friday, February 2, at 7pm.

Staff and students will also join a global Pause for Peace on February 1, at noon at the initiative of the Pause for Peace movement. It invites people from around the world to stop and pause for one minute’s silence and reflection “with the aim of forming a spirit of solidarity and peace in societies all over the globe”.

MU’s Dr Niamh Wycherley, lecturer in the Department of Early Irish at Maynooth University, who is an expert on St Brigid, is also involved in the celebrations.

Dr Wycherley is host of a new podcast, The Medieval Irish History Podcast, which showcases the complexity of Irish history through discussions with leading experts. Upcoming episodes will focus on St Brigid and her legacy in medieval Ireland.

Dr Wycherley is also taking part in an intercultural festival between Ireland and Italy, which will feature music from Irish and Italian artists in the Church of San Martino a Mensola in Florence, to mark the anniversary.

Also included in the festival lineup is Dr Katriona O’Sullivan of MU’s Department of Psychology and ALL Institute and author of the best-selling book Poor, a harrowing but inspiring account of her chaotic childhood and how she survived it to become an award-winning academic.

Dr O’Sullivan will be guest speaker at a special Brigid 1500 luncheon on February 1 in Kilkea Castle, organised by Kildare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office Women in Business Network, in collaboration with County Kildare Chamber and Network Ireland Kildare.

St Brigid’s Day falls on February 1 and commemorates the saint, who has strong ties to Kildare where she is believed to have established a double monastery for men and women around 480 A.D. Since last year, the day has been designated as a public holiday in Ireland.

For full details of Brigid 1500 celebrations across the county, see Brigid 1500.