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.
IrishNews.com 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.
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.