The director of the MacGill Sunmer School has said that there is a ‘frightening’ amount of work to be done in relation to building towards a Brian Friel Centre in Glenties.
Joe Mulholland is to to the fore in mastering a plan that will see the international playwright honoured in the home of his forefathers. The cottage was the home of Brian Friel’s grandfather, Barney McLoone, and his wife Sarah, who had ten children, which included five girls, one of whom, Chris, married Paddy Friel. They were the playwright’s parents.
Funds to buy the property were provided by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The internationally renowned playwright who passed away last year was laid to rest in the picturesque village of Glenties.
The cottage was bought by the former executive of RTÉ Joe Mulholland who is working on the project with Glenties estate agent Francis Brennan. Ownership of the property is to be vested in a Brian Friel Trust on which both men will sit.
Mr. Mulholland told the Donegal Democrat that the writer often visited Glenties as a boy and went fishing with his parents.
In later years, the writer would come to Glenties and attend the MacGill Summer School. On these occasions Mr. Mulholland and the playwright would spend long evenings in each other’s company and became firm friends.
”I do have fond memories of Brian. He was a wonderful playwright. He had great insight into people’s characters,” Mr Mulholland said.
Mr. Mulholland recalled a man who had a bright, investigative nature who enjoyed watching situations unfold around him and kept a keen ear to politics both local and national.
The Glenties project is one that will entail huge work and financial support to bring to fruition but it will reap great benefits in the future according to Mr. Mulholland.
“We have huge work to do, actually a frightening amount of work to do and we are going to need money but it will prove to be a very substantial boost to Glenties,” he said.