Bringing ‘The Pirate Queen’ to Inis Oirr

Bringing ‘The Pirate Queen’ to Inis Oirr

The story of ‘Amazing Grace’ is coming to Inis Oirr on Wednesday.

By Ciaran Tierney

The story of a fierce feminist leader, seafarer, and mother from the West of Ireland will be brought to life in a special 50 minute stage production at Áras Éanna Ionad Ealaíne, Inis Oirr, on Wednesday night, May 4th (8pm).

This family show, which is mostly ‘as Gaeilge’, tells the story of Gráinne Ní Mháille, the Irish Chieftain from West Mayo, who travelled to London to meet Queen Elizabeth and is seen by many people as a powerful symbol of Irish freedom and resistance.

She famously met Queen Elizabeth I in London in September 1593 for a discussion which was carried out in Latin as Gráinne spoke no English and Elizabeth had no Irish.

Gráinne supported Irish insurgents during clashes with the English after the Queen of England reneged on promises made during their meeting at Greenwich Castle.

This Mumbo Top production, produced by Denis Horan, is suitable for all the family and explores the myths and legends surrounding one of the most famous women in the history of the province of Connacht.

“She was certainly no angel, but undoubtedly a Mayo hero,” says Denis. “We are giving a voice to an imagined Gráinne, to get rid of the rumours and legitimise the legend. According to her anyway!”

‘Amazing Grace’ is written and directed by Hillary Bowen-Walsh, who was inspired to write it during a residency with Áras Éanna last October.

The show stars Ailish Carey, Seamus Hughes, and Brian O Suilleabhán. The tour manager is Orla Kelly-Smyth.

Admission is €10 for adults and €5 for children.

Tickets on the door.


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The ‘Amazing Grace’ show has enjoyed fantastic reviews along the western seaboard.