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Brian Friel

Glenties features in much of Brian Friel’s writing. His mother was a native of the place and was a member if the McLoone family, consisting of five daughters and two sons, who lived adjacent to the railway station. Brian, an only son, and his two sisters spent almost all of their school holidays at their grandparent’s home in Glenties.

It was fitting therefore that the theme of the 1991 Patrick MacGill summer school in Glenties should have been his work, and fitting too that on the opening night of the school Brian should have, in his address before the presentation of his masterpiece “Dancing at Lughnasa”, marked that he was proud that his extraordinary happening was taking place in the county which he called home. This memorable one night only performance was staged by the abbey theatre players in the local comprehensive school about 200 yards from this living legend’s grandparents home and was unique in so far as the players traveled specially from London for it. The widely world acclaimed play is special to the people of Glenties because the star-studded abbey company performed something which had characters who were well known and remembered as people who lived there.

Brian Friel dedicated the play to as he himself wrote “The Five Glenties Ladies” and those were his four aunts and his mother. The play itself, which was proved to be his most successful revolved around the lifestyle of those who knew them lived ties and those who knew them lived through an almost unbelievable emotional experience on that might in Glenties and are grateful to the author for using his influence in getting the abbey cast.


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