Monday 22 July 2019

Exciting line-up of cultural events planned at Doneraile Court

Eclectic programme set to usher in new era for stately house and gardens

The Anime Violin trio from Serbia will be among the cultural icons coming to Doneraile Court over the coming months
The Anime Violin trio from Serbia will be among the cultural icons coming to Doneraile Court over the coming months

Speaking to the Corkman recently Mary Heffernan, principal officer with the Office of Public works, said the opening of the ground floor of the 18th Century Doneraile Court would be just the start of an exciting new era for the stately building and the surrounding demesne.

Already the process is in chain to convert the first floor into a dedicated exhibition space with hopes high that it and a new ticket office in one of the adjacent outhouses will be ready to open next spring.

The master-plan for Doneraile House and its demesne also entails the restoration of its unique 17th, 18th and 19th century gardens to create what Ms Heffernan said would be a “cultural destination to rival any of the other great Irish houses and grounds.”

That vision also entails the creation of a varied and exciting programme of cultural events in Doneraile, with the first of these being a fascinating exhibition about the life of Anglo-Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen, which is currently on display in the newly opened ground floor of Doneraile Court.

As of Monday, June 24, Doneraile Court opened for guided tours, with a team of expert guides in place to take people through the storied history of the house, from its foundations in the 1700s up to the present day.

A host of other events have also been set in stone at the venue for the coming months, commencing this Saturday at 7.30pm with ‘The Heart of the Summer’ an evening of poetry and music hosted by RTÉ journalist and presenter Olivia O’Leary.

To mark the 120th anniversary of Elizabeth Bowen’s birth, Dr Michael Waldron assistant curator at the Crawford Gallery will deliver a talk entitled ‘Verbal Painting: Elizabeth Bowen Modernism & Literary London’ on Sunday afternoon at 3pm, which will explore her relationship with modern art.

On Saturday, July 21 Irish harpist Tríona Marshall (The Chieftains) and Serbian violinist Dusica Mladenovic will perform ‘Ground Out’, a new work by acclaimed Irish composer Ian Wilson.

On Sunday, August 18 Gráinne Hambly (harp & concertina) and William Jackson (harp, tin whistle, bouzouki) will perform a concert of Irish and Scottish tunes and on Tuesday, August 20 renowned Irish gardener Neil Portius will lead a guided tour of the gardens at Doneraile Park under the auspices of Heritage Week 2019.

September highlights will include a talk on Elizabeth Bowen and Bowen’s Court by author David Hicks, a concert of classical music by Serbian trio Anime Violin and a recital by classical 8-string Brahms guitarist Redmond O’Toole.

Some of the events taking place at Doneraile Court in November meanwhile include a recital of classic Flamenco palos (song forms) performed by Irish guitarist John Walsh and Spanish singer and Flamenco dancer Maria Delgado and the opportunity to enjoy a rare live collaborative performance by two of Ireland’s most celebrated musicians Cormac Breathnach (whistle) and Steve Cooney (guitar).

For full details of the upcoming programme including dates, times and ticket availability and prices visit