Big day for Donegal Gaeltacht

Refurbished Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair reopens today after 10 years

Carolyn Farrar

Reporter:

Carolyn Farrar

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carolyn.farrar@donegaldemocrat.com

Big day for Donegal Gaeltacht

Detail from the new foyer in the refurbished Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair.

Today is a big day for Gaoth Dobhair and the larger Gaeltacht region, as the famed Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair reopens after 10 years, following an €850,000 refurbishment.

“It’s going to be a big day for the parish of Gaoth Dobhair, but more importantly for the Gaeltacht areas of all of Ireland,” Pól Mac Cumhaill,  chairperson of the amharclann committee and a member of Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair, said.

Joe McHugh, TD and minister of state for the diaspora and international development, will officially reopen the theatre at 6pm today.

The opening weekend includes a performance this evening for an invited audience of donors, and a new Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair production of John B. Keane’s play “Sadhbh”, which runs at the amharclann on Saturday and Sunday, March 25th and 26th.

“Everybody is going to have a chance during the weekend to come in and have a look at what Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair is all about,” Pól said.

The theatre’s auditorium and seating have been completely refurbished, and the reopened theatre also includes a new, spacious foyer with a cafe area.

Pól said the theatre project marks the end of “10 long, hard years of struggle” that began during the economic crisis.

“At the end we stuck with it,” he said. “We had a good committee and it’s thanks to that committee that we are here today and thanks to a lot of other people as well, because we have met with nothing but good will from the time we started.”

The award-winning Irish-language theatre company Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair was formed in 1932, and the amharclann became their home when actress Siobhan McKenna opened the theatre in 1961.