Cloughjordan's community amphitheatre takes shape
President Michael D Higgins will open Cloughjordan Community Amphitheatre this Friday, April 21, at 3.30pm, on the eve of Earth Day.
With seating capacity for 250 people, the amphitheatre is a new multi-purpose performance space designed to stage a diverse range of cultural events, from youth, amateur and professional drama to music concerts, educational talks, screenings and recitals.
The venue, built into a mound at the northern end of Ireland’s first ecovillage, in Cloughjordan, is sculpted from the Tipperary landscape using permaculture design principles, and will be a significant addition to the cultural and artistic infrastructure of the mid-West region.
The amphitheatre has been built by Cloughjordan Arts CLG, established as a not-for-profit company in 2016, to promote Cloughjordan and the North Tipperary region as a creative and economic hub for the performing arts.
It incorporates a commemorative inscription in honour of Thomas MacDonagh, a Cloughjordan native who was one of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation. Created by Cloughjordan-based artists, Lian Callaghan and Thomas Wollen, the inscription in horizontal ceramic tiles is taken from Francis Ledwidge’s poem Lament for Thomas MacDonagh.
Funding for the project has come from a 1916 Special Projects grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Tipperary County Council, as well as local fundraising. The JVM Trench Trust, a philanthropic trust with a particular interest in the Cloughjoran area, has committed to supporting the project for the first three years of operation.
People are welcome to attend the opening, which will include poetry, singing, dance and music by local artists, but have to be seated in the amphitheatre by 3.30 at the latest.