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Brian Boru sculpture to be unveiled during two day festival

Armagh’s new sculpture of Brian Boru is due to be officially unveiled in the city on Tuesday, April 28.

The sculpture will be located within the St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral Gardens.

As Armagh I first revealed, the former Armagh City and District Council set up a design competition for the £20,000 artwork and then selected Mayo sculptor Rory Breslin, who also created the Armagh Railway Disaster sculpture on the Mall.

The unveiling is part of a ‘mini festival’ of events due to take place on Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29.

The Brian Ború Legacy Sculpture will be unveiled in the gardens of Saint Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral. At 7.30pm, ‘The Waking of Brian Ború – The Poet’s Story’ will attract visitors for a musical drama telling Brian Ború’s story.

The ticketed performance uses song, dance, drama and music to conjure up images of a time long-gone, and with the unique setting of Ború’s final resting place, this historic event promises to create thrilling, spine-tingling theatre.

Brian Boru sculpture

Brian Boru sculpture

Following last year’s 1,000-year anniversary of the death of Brian Ború, who is buried in the grounds of Armagh’s iconic Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and, due to overwhelming demand, the High King’s legacy will be honoured again with these special cultural events.

Harnessing the rich local artistic talent and historical expertise which Armagh is famous for the world over, visitors to the city have the opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of Ireland’s greatest warrior.

On Wednesday, April 29, two special events will use the unique settings of Armagh Observatory and the Hill of Armagh with their resident experts to give visitors a glimpse into Brian Ború’s world.

Following last year’s highly successful community festival ‘The Waking of Brian Boru’, led by Sally Walmsley with support from Armagh City and District Council and many other local organisations, the Armagh Observatory is again contributing to the City of Armagh’s Brian Boru festival.

The Armagh Public Library and the Armagh Observatory are together offering a glimpse into Brian Boru’s world a thousand years ago, through ticketed events on the morning (10am) and afternoon (2pm) respectively on Wednesday, April 29.  Tickets can be obtained through links from the festival website.

The event in the Armagh Public Library and No. 5 Vicar’s Hill will offer visitors an opportunity to discover the monastery and learning in Armagh at the time of Brian Boru, and to see manuscripts at a later time. Moments of song, poetry and music will take visitors back to Brian Boru’s time.

The afternoon event at the Observatory will similarly involve ‘time travel’, taking visitors back to the days leading up to the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

Here the Observatory’s Human Orrery will be used to show the disposition of the planets in the sky around the time of the Battle of Clontarf, and the new sonic-art exhibit ‘aroundNorth’ will help explain the movement of the stars around the North Star, Polaris, and so help to illustrate the importance of the sky for people living a thousand years ago.

Tickets for this event are available from or from the Armagh Visitor Information Centre, telephone 3752 1800. For further information contact Sally Walmsley 078 0444 8496 or email, or Mark Bailey at the Armagh Observatory (

One of the highlights of the celebration will be the Brian Ború Feast at the Navan Centre and Fort on theWednesday evening which will feature a thrilling re-enactment of Brian Ború and his compatriots celebrating the success of their march through the area during which they gathered slaves, livestock, gold and silver. The Brian Ború Feast will take place on Wednesday 29th April from 7.00pm to 9.30pm.

Lord Mayor, Councillor Darryn Causby, said: “The legacy which Brian Ború has left on Armagh is evident to the present day and the 2015 celebration events provide a unique opportunity to commemorate his enduring history and legacy.

“From community performances to special events at our wonderful visitor attractions, I would encourage everyone to come along to as many of the events as possible, even if they’re not aware of the history of Brian Ború, as this is a great opportunity to learn about one of Armagh’s ancient figures.”

For more information and to book tickets to the events, visit or contact Armagh Visitor Information Centre on 028 3752 1800. Events are ticketed separately or visitors can choose to purchase a festival pass for all four events for £40.00.

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