‘The Laurels’ is playwright Brian Friel’s mother’s home in Glenties, County Donegal in which he spent time during the summer holidays when he was young. This initiative seeks to place ‘The Laurels’ in its real and imagined landscapes, investigate family history research of the McLoone and Friel families and those of the literary characters based on them, and undertake an analysis of Brian Friel’s literary works and writings to populate the inspirational places (such as Glenties) and the imagined places (such as Ballybeg) portrayed in his work. The research seeks to bring together what we know about the built heritage of ‘The Laurels’, Brian Friel’s writings on Ballybeg and Glenties, and family history research on the McLoone and Friel families. In doing so, the research will provide a firm basis to facilitate and inform the conservation of The Laurels that is being led by the Brian Friel Trust. The conservation of this landmark historic building is a fitting testament to Brian Friel’s work as the building and its inhabitants were the inspiration for his play Dancing at Lughnasa. These tangible reminders of our literary inheritance are of importance to students, artists, tourists and residents alike. The study will involve archival research, analysis of Friel’s literary works and writings, family history research, interviews with key informants and the integration of the built heritage and material culture of ‘The Laurels’ .
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.