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  • Northside East

Newbridge House to host Fingal Festival of History

Friday, 15th September, 2017 7:59am
Newbridge House to host Fingal Festival of History

Ann Brophy, manager of Newbridge House; Fingal Mayor Mary McCamley; and County Librarian, Betty Boardman, pictured at the launch of the Fingal Festival of History.

Newbridge House to host Fingal Festival of History

Ann Brophy, manager of Newbridge House; Fingal Mayor Mary McCamley; and County Librarian, Betty Boardman, pictured at the launch of the Fingal Festival of History.

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THE Fingal Festival of History will take place in the spectacular surrounds of Newbridge House and Farm in Donabate from Friday, September 29, to Sunday, October 1.

Details of the festival were announced at a launch event last week when the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley, was joined by chief executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, County Librarian Betty Boardman; and Newbridge House manager, Ann Brophy.

The festival is organised by Fingal Libraries in partnership with Newbridge House and Farm. Over the weekend, history lovers can expect fascinating talks, a tour of Newbridge House, a family-friendly event and a screening of ‘Fingal’s Finest’ -  a feature length drama documentary telling the extraordinary and little-known story of the 5th 'Fingal' Battalion, Dublin Brigade of Irish Volunteers and their actions during the 1916 Easter Rising.

This year is the centenary of the death of Thomas Ashe and Brian Arnold will look at his legacy in Fingal and Ireland in his talk, ‘Thomas Ashe, the Revolutionary Teacher’.

This is also the centenary of the Russian Revolution and Dónal Fallon will examine the strange connections between Irish nationalism and Russian Bolshevism in the revolutionary period in his talk

Hugh O’Donnell will examine the role of 1916 as a key fulcrum for, not only Ireland's self-determination, but its resonance for people in other parts of the world.  

Cathal Boland will follow the Kettle family through the 19th and 20th centuries as each generation made its mark on Irish Society.

Young history lovers will be catered for in Michael Moylan’s interactive family-friendly event, ‘The 1916 Show’. Children will get to learn about the fashion, daily work and weaponry of the revolutionary period through handling real artifacts. 

Newbridge House is one of Fingal’s heritage properties, a Georgian Villa built to the design of James Gibbs in 1747 for the then Archbishop of Dublin, Charles Cobbe. 

In 1985, it was purchased by Dublin County Council Council from the Cobbe family, who, with permission of the local authority, retain access to a private apartment on the top floor of the house. This arrangement ensures that the Cobbe Collection of old masters, family portraits and antique furniture remain in Newbridge House in their original setting, ensuring an authentic experience for visitors to the house.

Fingal County Council restored the house, grounds and farm and has increased the collection of Irish furniture and artifacts. The council has invested substantially in the redevelopment of the old stable blocks to create a new visitor centre incorporating a restaurant, retail and reception area, along with a new terrace and a complete refurbishment of the inner courtyard. This project is nearing completion and is expected to open in autumn 2017. 

This year also saw the start of the redevelopment of the old croquet lawn which is being developed to international standards. In 2018, tennis courts will be added to restore the pleasure gardens to their former glory.  

Admission to all talks and events is free.

 

Paul Reid, chief executive of Fingal County Council; Helen O’Donnell and Susan Lovatt, Fingal Libraries; Mayor of Fingal Mary McCamley; County Librarian Betty Boardman; and Ann Brophy, manager of Newbridge House, pictured at the launch of the Fingal Festival of History.

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