Latest Kildare Event: ‘Herstory’ illuminates Kildare for St. Brigid’s Day

Latest Kildare Event: ‘Herstory’ illuminates Kildare for St. Brigid’s Day

Special Programme of Events for St. Brigid’s Day 2022

From the shadows into the light, Ireland’s Matron Saint and Celtic Goddess rise to inspire Kildare and the nation once again. On Brigid’s Day, 1st February, the Herstory Light Show by Dodeca will illuminate local landmarks with art of Brigid and Irish goddesses by artists Bernie Sexton, Non Waters, Courtney Davis and Jim Fitzpatrick. 

“For St. Brigid’s Day 2022, and in advance of the 2024 1500th anniversary of the death of St. Brigid; Kildare County Council, with Kildare’s Creative Ireland team and Decade of Commemorations committee, are delighted to collaborate with Herstory to illuminate landmark sites countywide on February 1st, after dark,” says Lucina Russell, Kildare Arts Officer. “This project is centred around St. Brigid’s Cathedral, Kildare Town, which is synonymous with Brigid, as well as The Wonderful Barn in Leixlip and Kilkea Castle near Athy. The illuminations, with artistic representations of Brigid, will literally shine a light on the life and legend of this amazing woman.” 

Tlachtga by Bernie Sexton


All events are free and open to the public

5.30 – 6.30pm: Kilkea Castle

9.30 – 10.30pm: Newbridge Town Hall

11.30 – 00.00pm: The Wonderful Barn, Leixlip 

This timely event follows Herstory’s successful campaign to make Brigid’s Day Ireland’s new public holiday from 2023, in celebration of our Celtic Goddess, Matron Saint, and Imbolc, the ancient festival of Spring. This is the first public holiday named in honour of a woman and high time as Ireland already has 4 holidays named after men: Jesus, Patrick and Stephen. What a victory for all mná!

“Herstory is thrilled to co-create this spectacular light show with Kildare County Council. My mother and grandmother hail from Athy so my heart is always drawn to Kildare and the wonders of Brigid,” says Herstory CEO & Creative Director Melanie Lynch. “I’m particularly inspired by the fact that she was an abbess who co-founded a double monastery where men and women practiced their faith equally. 1500 years later and modern Ireland is still catching up with St. Brigid. What an icon for our times!”

You have heard of Brigid, but what about Tlachtga, the Morrigan, or Airmid? Ancient Ireland was synonymous with goddess culture. In fact our nation is named after the Goddess Ériu. Artist Non Waters presents the Goddess Brigid as a multi-cultural icon, expressing the fact that she was a pan-European goddess worshiped from Turkey to Spain. The Kildare illuminations will also feature stunning new art of 13 indigenous Irish goddesses by local Newbridge artist Bernie Sexton from the Goddesses of Ireland book, written by Dr. Karen Ward, Founder of Moon Mná

“In addition, we look forward to welcoming Herstory poet in residence Laura Murphy, as she creates a poetic concept film for live performance at St. Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare on Féile Bhríd.,reveals Lucina Russell, Kildare Arts Officer.

The Morrigan by Bernie Sexton

“It’s been over 1500 years since Saint Brigid walked these lands and longer still since the time of Goddess Brigid, yet She has much to offer us today. A guiding light for some of Ireland’s greatest humanitarians and revolutionaries including Grace O’ Malley and Maud Gonne, Brigid has been a source of inspiration in my own life too,” says Laura Murphy, Herstory’s Poet in Residence.

(Laura Murphy is a poet, activist and award-winning communications strategist from County Laois. Laura is the daughter of a Mother and Baby home survivor and is a passionate campaigner on this and other issues surrounding equality, environmental and social healing in Ireland. 

Laura Murphy, Herstory Poet in Residence

Laura’s work is centred around the poetic practice of ‘Imbas Forosnai’. Imbas Forosnai means ‘inspiration that illuminates’ and was used by the ancient poets of Ireland to bring healing to society and truth to power. 

Laura is Herstory’s inaugural Poet in Residence. 

A RTÉ Nationwide programme on St. Brigid will air on January 28th, 2022.  Meanwhile Into Kildare are distributing 5,000 candles through the library network to commemorate Feile Bhride. They are also lighting the tower on the Hill of Allen.