Linenhall flings open its doors

Going Out

LIVE GIGS RETURN Renowned vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird will be performing with Úna Monaghan and cellist Kevin Murphy on September 4.  Pic: Creative Commons

Art, music and theatre all back on the menu

Ciara Moynihan

The Linenhall Arts Centre’s building has reopened at last after seven long months, with lots in store for artists and public alike. The Castlebar arts and entertainment beacon has a huge variety of events lined up.
‘Ping-Pong’, an exhibition of artworks by Sarah Wren Wilson, opened in the  refurbished Linenhall gallery on Friday last, August 20, and will run for eight weeks. The artist has close connections to Mayo, having visited frequently over the past 24 years. She was due to exhibit at the Linenhall in summer 2020, but was forced to reschedule multiple times due to ongoing restrictions and closures.
Linenhall Director Bernadette Greenan is thrilled that Wren Wilson’s show is marking the arts centre’s reopening, saying it’s been a delight to ‘finally see her work displayed on our historic walls’. “Ping-Pong is striking and innovative, and we hope it will evoke interesting conversations for our audiences,” she adds.

Centre stage
Live events are also a reality once more at the Linenhall, with much-loved vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird, harpist and sound artist Úna Monaghan and cellist Kevin Murphy performing on stage on Saturday, September 4.
This already sold-out performance is being brought to Mayo by Music Network and will be held in front of an intimate audience of 30, as per the current guidelines. “We’ve really missed live music and know that the online experience just isn’t the same. We’re counting down the days to our first live gig and are really looking forward to sharing it with our audiences,” says Greenan.
This performance will be followed by a whole autumn season of live gigs. Thursday, September 16, will see traditional folk musicians Tara Breen, Pádraig Rynne and Jim Murray take to the stage, promising ‘a performance from the gentle to the rhythmical and all the in-betweens’.
Fiddler Tara Breen has numerous All Ireland titles under her belt, and tours regularly with The Chieftains, Stockton’s Wing and as a solo performer. Acclaimed concertina player, composer and producer Pádraig Rynne is a founding member of Triad with Dónal Lunny and Sylvain Barou, and also plays with Notify, Atlantic Arc and Guidewires. Guitarist Jim Murray is one of Ireland’s most respected traditional Irish music accompanists.
Tara and Pádraig have collaborated many times over the past decade, while Jim and Pádraig have been long-time friends first meeting on the Galway scene, when Jim began working with Sharon Shannon.

Diverse line-up
Other gigs slated for The Linenhall this autumn include the Con Tempo String Quartet (September 22), David Munnelly and Shane McGowan (September 23), Gráinne Hambly and William Jackson (October 7), and the Ficino Quartet (December 9).
Theatre lovers will also be delighted to hear that drama ‘A Wilde Fan’, written and performed by Myles Breen, will be staged at the arts centre on September 29.
And those who like to enjoy a cuppa in the beautiful, recently restored building can now do so again in The Linenhall Coffee Shop, which reopened on August 10. The café now encompasses two indoor and two outdoor seating areas, with socially distanced seating available for everyone’s comfort and safety.

For tickets and full details of the autumn programme, visit