To celebrate Brigid’s Day 2022, the Herstory Light Show takes place on Monday 31st January and Tuesday 1st February, illuminating iconic landmarks in Dublin and Kildare including Trinity College Dublin, The GPO, Kildare Cathedral, Kilkea Castle and more.
This timely event follows Herstory’s successful campaign to make Brigid’s Day Ireland’s new public holiday from 2023, in celebration of our Celtic goddess, Matron Saint, and Imbolc, the ancient festival of spring. This is the first public holiday named in honor of a woman and high time as Ireland already has four holidays named after men: Jesus, Patrick and Stephen. What a victory for all mná!
Herstory and the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union present Student Power, a spectacular Herstory Light Show to amplify StudentVoices and spotlight the causes close to their hearts: climate action, girl’s education, mental health, racism, migrants rights, preserving indigenous cultures and more. The light show begins in Dublin city on Brigid’s Eve, 31st January, illuminating Trinity College Dublin (front square) from 5.30pm – 8pm, followed by The GPO from 8.30 – 10pm.
“Never before in history have young people risen up together on this scale across the world. Power to students as they lead the light,” says Herstory CEO & Creative Director Melanie Lynch.
St. Brigid was a spirited youth activist, feminist and environmentalist who fearlessly championed the rights of the poor and animals. She has inspired the graphic design students from the National College of Art and Design and Colaiste Dhulaigh who have created new portraits of 30 young visionary change-makers which will be illuminated on iconic landmarks in Dublin city. You can read the students’ awe-inspiring stories on the Herstory website. Irish Rail will also showcase the activists’ portraits on the big screens at Connolly, Tara, Pearse and Heuston stations from the 1st – 14th February. All events are part of the Brigit 2022 Festival by Dublin City Council and are free and open to the public.
“It has been brilliant to learn about so many amazing women and especially since many of them are our age;” say students from Colaiste Dhulaigh. “It really sparked my interest. I love that there are so many young women with powerful messages that are being listened to and making a difference in the world. I also didn't realize that, for example, Mary Robinson was quite the revolutionary when she was in college. It's brilliant to think she became the President of Ireland. Maybe there's a future President in our class or amongst this group of young activists.”
The light show will begin with a one-minute silence for Ashling Murphy and all victims of domestic violence. Ashling was a cherished primary school teacher who nurtured her first-class students at Durrow National School in Offaly. Only recently she was a student herself and graduated from Limerick's teacher training college Mary Immaculate four months ago.
Saoirse Exton, ISSU Equality Officer says; “Student voice is the key to creating a better world for all, and pulling down outdated systems that threaten our very existence on this planet. Young people are the leaders, educators, lawyers, factory workers, programmers, artists, legislators and so many other things, of the future and by right of our existence we must voice our concerns and the specific issues that affect us. By celebrating those that came before and continue to work towards dismantling the system and creating a better world, we are creating spaces for the activists of tomorrow and inviting more young people to join every fight - from climate to reproductive justice.”
You have heard of the goddess Brigid, but what about Tlachtga, the Morrigan, or Airmid? Ancient Ireland was synonymous with goddess culture. In fact our nation is named after the Goddess Ériu. On Brigid’s Day, 1st February the sails in Smithfield Square will illuminate with stunning new art of 13 indigenous Irish goddesses by artist Bernie Sexton from the Goddesses of Ireland book by Dr. Karen Ward, Founder of Moon Mná. The GPO will spotlight TÁIN: The Women’s Stories, a stellar creation by mother and daughter duo Karina and Kathy Tynan who are reclaiming the great Irish epic from the women’s perspective.
On Brigid’s Day, 1st February, the Herstory Light Show will journey to Kildare, lighting up the iconic St. Brigid’s Cathedral from 5.30pm - 9.30pm. A pop-up light show will tour the county all evening, illuminating more local landmarks with art of Brigid and Irish goddesses by Bernie Sexton, Non Waters, Courtney Davis and Jim Fitzpatrick.
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Kildare light show
All events are free and open to the public
- 5.30 - 12.00am: St. Brigid's Cathedral, Kildare
- 5.30 - 6.30pm: Kilkea Castle
- 9.30 - 10.30pm: Newbridge Town Hall
- 11.30 - 00.00pm: The Wonderful Barn, Leixlip
Lucina Russell, Kildare Arts Officer says: "For St. Brigid’s Day 2022, and in advance of the 2024 1500th anniversary of the death of St. Brigid; Kildare County Council, with Kildare’s Creative Ireland team and Decade of Commemorations Committee, are delighted to collaborate with Herstory to illuminate landmark sites countywide on February 1st, after dark. This project is centered around St. Brigid's Cathedral, Kildare Town, which is synonymous with Brigid, as well as The Wonderful Barn in Leixlip and Kilkea Castle near Athy. The illuminations, with artistic representations of Brigid, will literally shine a light on the life and legend of this amazing woman.”
“In addition, we look forward to welcoming Herstory poet in residence Laura Murphy, as she creates a poetic concept film for live performance at St. Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare on Feile Bhride. The significance of this project is reinforced as the government has committed to a new bank holiday for St. Brigid’s Day in 2023.”
“It's been over 1500 years since Saint Brigid walked these lands and longer still since the time of Goddess Brigid, yet She has much to offer us today. A guiding light for some of Ireland’s greatest humanitarians and revolutionaries including Grace O’ Malley and Maud Gonne, Brigid has been a source of inspiration in my own life too,” says Laura Murphy, Herstory’s Poet in Residence.
Meanwhile Into Kildare is distributing 5,000 candles through the library network to commemorate Feile Bhride. They are also lighting the tower on the Hill of Allen.
For more information, visit www.herstory.ie or follow #Herstory, #StudentVoices, or #BrigidsDay on social media.