The Donegal cottage that was the setting of Brian Friel's 'Dancing at Lughnasa' will be restored.Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The County Donegal cottage which served as the setting for Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa will be preserved in honor of the Tony award-winning playwright, with hopes that the property will become the location for a Brian Friel Center.

Joe Mulholland, the director of Magill Summer School, purchased the derelict Laurels cottage in Glenties and intends to restore it to its former glory. He will be working with Francis Brennan, a Glenties estate agent and long-time admirer of Friel’s work, on the project and the establishment of the Brian Friel Trust. reports that work to restore the cottage is planned to begin in the spring. The funds to purchase the cottage was provided by an anonymous donor.

Brian Friel was born in Killyclogher, in County Tyrone, in 1929. His play Dancing at Lughnasa, which is set in Donegal in August 1936 in the fictional town of Ballybeg, is loosely based on the lives of Friel's mother and aunts who lived in Glenties.

In 1998, the play was adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep.

Friel passed away in October at the age of 86. Having grown up in Tyrone, Friel became a teacher, following in his father’s footsteps, after his education at St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth and St Joseph’s College in Belfast. Although he wrote throughout his life, it was in 1967 that he became a household name with “Philadelphia, Here I Come.” During his six decade career he completed 30 plays.

Read more about Brian Friel's life and works here.