History comes alive in Fingal

September 15, 2017 0

Fingal Festival of History takes place in Newbridge House Donabate from September 29. History-lovers can expect fascinating talks, a tour of Newbridge House, an interactive family-friendly history event and a screening of Fingal’s Finest at the Fingal Festival of History which takes place in Donabate from Friday, September 29 to Sunday, October 1.

Organised by Fingal Libraries, in partnership with Newbridge House and Farm, the event will be based at Newbridge House and will focus on events of 100 years ago especially those connected to the 1916 Rising. Admission to all talks and events at the Fingal Festival of History is free and all are welcome.

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. 2017 is also the centenary of the Russian Revolution and Dónal Fallon will examine the strange connections between Irish nationalism and Russian Bolshevism in this revolutionary period during his talk, Ireland and the Bolsheviks: What did the Russian Revolution mean for us?

Hugh O’Donnell will looks at 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 century as each generation made its mark on Irish Society in his talk, The Kettles: An Interesting Fingal Family.

There will also be a screening of Fingal’s Finest – a feature length drama documentary which was funded by Fingal County Council and tells the extraordinary and little-known story of the Fifth ‘Fingal’ Battalion, Dublin Brigade of Irish Volunteers and their actions during the 1916 Easter Rising when, led by their commander, Thomas Ashe, they achieved the only victory by the Irish rebels at the Battle of Ashbourne.

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 artefacts.

The Fingal Festival of History takes place in one of Fingal’s finest heritage properties – Newbridge House, Donabate, – a  Georgian Villa built to the design of James Gibbs in 1747 for the then Archbishop of Dublin, Charles Cobbe. The Fingal Festival of History will features a tour of Newbridge House and a talk by the Cobbe Family Archivist, Cathal Dowd Smith, on Life in Newbridge House during the turbulent period 1914 – 1918.

The Fingal Festival of History takes place as part of Fingal County Council’s Creative Ireland programme. For further information, the festival brochure is available at https://fingal.ie/media/FingalFestivalofHistoryBrochure_web.pdf or you can contact Susan Lovatt susan.lovatt@fingal.ie/01 890 5523 or Orla Drohan orla.drohan@fingal.ie/01 890 5531.

Further information on Fingal County Council’s Creative Ireland programme can be obtained by emailing creativefingal@fingal.ie or calling 01 890 5097.

Event Schedule

Friday, September 29

  • 6.15 – 6.30pm: Introduction to Newbridge House – Ann Brophy
  • 6.30 – 7.30pm: Thomas Ashe, The Revolutionary Teacher – Brian Arnold
  • 7.30 – 8.30pm: Ireland and the Bolsheviks: What did the Russian Revolution mean for us? – Donal Fallon

Saturday, September 30

  • 12.45 – 1.00pm: Introduction to Newbridge House – Ann Brophy
  • 1 – 2.15pm: The 1916 Show – Michael Moylan
  • 2.15 pm – 2.30pm: Tea / Coffee break
  • 2.30 – 3.30pm: Embers of Empires – Hugh O’Donnell
  • 3.30 – 4.30pm:  Life in Newbridge House 1914 – 1918 – Cathal Dowd Smith

Sunday, October 1

  • 12 – 12.15pm:  Introduction to Newbridge House – Ann Brophy
  • 12.15 – 1pm:  The Kettles: An Interesting Fingal Family – Cathal Boland
  • 1 – 1.20 pm: Tea / Coffee break
  • 1.20 – 2.20pm: Life in Newbridge House 1914 – 1918 – Cathal Dowd Smith
  • 2.20 – 3.20pm: Tour of Newbridge House
  • 3.20 – 4.50pm: Screening of Fingal’s Finest

About Newbridge House

Newbridge House was purchased by Dublin County Council, now Fingal County Council, in 1985 from the Cobbe family, who, with permission of the Council, 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 artefacts within the house. The Council has invested substantially in the redevelopment of the old stable blocks to create a new visitor center 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.