Decade of Centenaries: Irish Research Council funds the staged reading of a 1916 play

By Irish Research Council

Posted: 28 June, 2016

The Death of Fionavar, a 1916 play by Irish poet and playwright Eva Gore-Booth, was performed in Cork City Gaol on 2nd November 2015. Dr Maureen O’Connor of the School of English, with Dr Marie Kelly of the Drama and Theatre Studies Department, University College Cork, organised the performance to coincide with the upcoming Easter Rising centenary. Gore-Booth’s sister, Constance Markievicz illustrated the play whilst languishing in prison. Sentenced to death for her part in the Easter Rising, Markievicz was released in 1917 with other rebels who were given amnesty.

The reading was staged on All Soul’s Day, (2015) directed by Julia Kelleher, performed by a combination of professional actors and Drama and Theatre Studies students, and accompanied by a harpist. Listen to the staged reading of the play on Century Ireland: The Death of Fionavar

Eva Gore-Booth was a significant figure in the history of the anti-war movement, women’s rights, and labour activism, and remains to this day an important contributor to Irish literature in the early-20th century. Eva Gore Booth dedicated the play to the martyrs of the Rising, “The Many who died for Freedom / and the One who died for Peace”.

The Death of Fionavar performance was awarded funding under IRC’s New Foundations Programme.