Saturday 1 October 2016

Riverdance millionaire Moya Doherty saves well-known ancestral home

Greg Harkin

Published 18/07/2016 | 02:30

Brian Friel set his play ‘Dancing At Lughnasa’ at the house, the original home of his aunts where he played as a child Picture: Marc O'Sullivan
Brian Friel set his play ‘Dancing At Lughnasa’ at the house, the original home of his aunts where he played as a child Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Riverdance millionaire Moya Doherty has bought the ancestral home of playwright Brian Friel in a bid to save it from ruin.

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The intervention of RTÉ chair Doherty to save Laurel Cottage in Glenties was announced at the MacGill Summer School in the town yesterday.

Hundreds of people gathered at the run-down house to hear actor Charlie Bonner read Friel's 'A Man's World'.

Friel set his play 'Dancing At Lughnasa' at the house, the original home of his aunts where he played as a child.

A picture of assassinated American president John F Kennedy still hangs in the living room.

Joe Mulholland, the retired RTÉ director who runs the summer school, said a €250,000 fundraising drive had now been launched to restore the house and build a visitor centre nearby.

"Up until now we haven't said who purchased the house - but I have been given permission now to say that it was Moya Doherty," said Mulholland.

"This home is a national treasure and I'm delighted to say we are now on the path to preserving it for Glenties, for Donegal and for the country."

The house is now owned by the Brian Friel Trust.

Irish Independent

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